Former Maple Leaf Signee, & NHL 1st-Rounder Considering Retirement from Hockey

He was never able to live up to expectations in the National Hockey League as a first-round pick, spending just three years with the New York Islanders before his NHL career unceremoniously came to a close in 2019. Now, at the young age of just 27, Josh Ho-Sang is considering retirement. 

According to the Russian team in the KHL that he played for last season, Ufa Salavat Yulaev, Ho-Sang must become a Russian citizen in order to continue playing for the squad. But as noted by David Alter of The Hockey News, Ho-Sang, from Toronto, doesn't really have any interest in making such a drastic change to his citizenship. 

With that weighing on him, the 27-year-old is discussing it with his family, and it appears that he is strongly considering retirement. 

"Now he is thinking about ending his progressional (hockey) career," Salavat technical director Rinat Bashirov said in Sport-Express. "In his latest messages to us, he said that we can easily start hiring any legionnaires (non-Russian players) we want."

Nevertheless, says Alter, Ufa has prepared the paperwork for Ho-Sang to fill out, should he change his mind and decide to get his Russian citizenship. 

His season in the KHL was pretty much a disaster last year, as he suffered an injury in the very first game that required surgery, and didn't return until the playoffs. 

Ho-Sang's last foray on North American ice came with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, who gave him a professional tryout contract in the fall of 2021. He didn't break camp with the big club, but later was signed to play in the AHL for the Toronto Marlies where he recorded 16 goals and 19 assists in 47 games.

The Islanders took him with the 28th overall pick in 2014, and in 53 total games over three seasons, he recorded seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points. 

Photo: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports