The rift between Josh Ho-Sang and Hockey Canada widened on Monday, as the Islanders prospect was not among the 29 players selected for Canada’s World Junior selection camp roster.
Two goalies, 10 defensemen and 17 forwards were invited to camp, which will take place from Dec. 11-15 in Toronto. Among those selected were coveted 2015 draft prospect Connor McDavid and two players with NHL experience: Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart and Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse.
Ho-Sang, New York’s first-round pick (28th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, had been passed over by Hockey Canada in August for its summer evaluation camp, calling the snub “insulting.” It was the latest incident in a contentious relationship between the two sides, with Ho-Sang claiming he’d been ostracized from the program.
“If you’re going to alienate an 18-year-old kid, like good job. Their job is development and progression of Canadian hockey,” he said at the time, per Yahoo. “If I am a problem child, that means they don’t like problems, that they have an issue with fixing things, that they like when things are easy.
“That actually means that they don’t possess the ability to develop and that they are just taking players to fit their role that have been developed somewhere else.”
Ho-Sang, who was traded from OHL Winsdor to Niagara earlier this season, has 25 points in 18 games this season. He scored 35 goals and 85 points in 67 games for the Spitfires during the 2013-14 campaign.
To be fair, Ho-Sang wasn’t the only notable camp omission at forward. Colorado’s Conner Bleackley, taken five spots ahead of Ho-Sang at the ’14 Draft (23rd overall), failed to make the cut. Jared McCann, taken 24th overall by Vancouver at the same draft, was also passed over by Hockey Canada.
It’s also worth noting a couple of current NHL forwards could be added to the mix for the Worlds, which take place in Toronto and Montreal from Dec. 26-Jan. 5. The Rangers’ Anthony Duclair and the Canucks’ Bo Horvat are both eligible to play and are candidates to join the team later in the month.