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The Islanders as of now are not inviting forward Josh Ho-Sang to training camp, marking the latest turn in what has been a rocky relationship between the organization and former first-round pick.
This season was considered to be a last chance for Ho-Sang, the 24-year-old right-winger whose tantalizing talent is often overshadowed by questions about his maturity.
Ho-Sang and the Islanders settled on a one-year, $700,000 contract in October.
A reason for the training camp exclusion, which was first reported Wednesday by The Athletic and confirmed by The Post’s Mollie Walker, was not immediately clear.
But it does not come as a shock, even if Ho-Sang was the final cut last fall, and surely among the 36 most-talented Islanders who will congregate next week for the beginning of training camp.
For all of Ho-Sang’s dynamic puck-handling and shooting abilities, he has drawn criticisms for his maturity and defensive shortcomings, which led him to fall to the 28th pick in the 2014 draft.
Ho-Sang opined then that being black in a game filled with predominantly white players played a factor in people’s “perception” of him.
“When I do anything, I’m just another black kid with attitude,” Ho-Sang told The Toronto Sun. “I think I get misunderstood because these guys want to figure me out without talking to me and try to come up with every single reason why there’s something wrong with me.”
The start to his professional career a year later got off to a rough start when he overslept on the first day of training camp, which resulted in him being cut.
Since, Ho-Sang has bounced between the minor leagues and the big club, producing seven goals and 17 assists in 53 NHL games, at both levels showing glimpses of what made him one of the most offensively gifted players in his draft year.
After not making the roster last fall, Ho-Sang requested a trade and was away from the organization for two months before returning to the American Hockey League in December.
The two sides avoided arbitration in October and reached an extension.
“Josh is ready to give everything he has to earn a spot in the National Hockey League. This contract provides him with some financial security at the AHL level, but he intends to force his way into an NHL lineup,” Ho-Sang’s agent, Patrick Bedell, said in a statement then.
Training camp for the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport begins late next month.
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