Josh Ho-Sang spent a season within the Toronto Maple Leafs’ organization. In his last North American stint, he played for the Toronto Marlies (during the 2021-22 AHL season). In that season, he showed promise with 16 goals and 19 assists in 47 games.
Although it was a decent season with the Marlies, he wasn’t offered a continuing role within the organization.
Because the talented forward, who was a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, was never able to establish himself as a viable NHL regular – despite his offensive abilities – he went to the KHL to apply his skills there.
Ho-Sang Signed with Ufa Salavat Yulaev, But Was Injured
Ho-Sang signed with KHL club Ufa Salavat Yulaev last year. He started his first game against SKA in September with an assist, but then things turned sour. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in that same game. Too bad for him and his career, he missed the rest of the regular season.
He underwent surgery and returned to play in four playoff games. However, he failed to register a playoff point.
Ho-Sang Might Not Return to the KHL
While the injury was debilitating, it isn’t the reason he’s thinking about not returning to Russia. According to The Hockey News’ David Alter, Ho-Sang was invited to return to the KHL, but he would have to meet one condition. He’d need to become a Russian citizen.
Earlier last week, former Maple Leafs’ prospect Brennan Menell decided to do just that. He was granted Russian citizenship and will continue to play there.
Ho-Sang Is Talking with His Family
Currently, there’s no confirmation of what Ho-Sang is considering doing. He’s interested in pursuing his hockey journey, but it would seem becoming a Russian citizen doesn’t sit perfectly well with him. The word is that he’s currently discussing the matter with his family.
His Ufa Salavat Yulaev hockey club has prepared the necessary paperwork for Ho-Sang to become a citizen if he decides to return to the team this season. On the one hand, it’s easy. But on the other …
What to Do?
Ho-Sang’s future decision about where to play hockey remains uncertain. I’m hoping he continues in the sport but settles for a more middle-ground geography where the citizenship issue doesn’t apply.
For example, former Maple Leafs’ player Denis Malgin returned home to play in Switzerland. Having worked in Zurich, it’s a comfortable – if not expensive – place to live. Could Ho-Sang catch on there?
There’s something about Ho-Sang that interests me. If I hear more, I’ll share it with Maple Leafs’ fans. I’m interested to see what path the young forward chooses to follow.