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List of Former New York Islanders Going to the Winter Olympics

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New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang

With the accidental release of Team Canada’s men’s Olympic roster a day early, NYIHN can now dive into the former New York Islanders who are representing their respective countries at the Beijing Olympics.

Remember, the NHL is not allowing their players to attend due to COVID-19 postponents and the need to make up games during that break in the schedule. So the names on this list may be dating the fanbase. Like we saw back during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, AHL players under AHL contracts are allowed to participate in the Olympics, something that is allowed again for Beijing.

Former Islanders Heading to the Olympics

Josh Ho-Sang, RW, Team Canada:  Ho-Sang, 26, was a highly touted prospect for the New York Islanders, but through his own issues and issues with management it did not pan out on the island. Drafted 29th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, Ho-Sang only played in 53 games with the Islanders, with seven goals and seven assists over a span of three seasons.

Ho-Sang requested a trade out of Long Island in 2019 but a trade partner was not found and he was loaned to the San Antonio Rampage, the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, instead. After coming to terms on a two-way deal in 2020, the Islanders again loaned him away this time to the SHL’ Orebro.

In 178 games at the AHL level, Josh Ho-Sang scored 30 goals and 93 assists.

He played just five games with Orebro before being cut. He then was brought in by Linkopings HC of the SHL before their regular season came to a close, but in the final 12 games of the season, Ho-Sang only played in four games, in which he scored two goals.

Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate, signed Ho-Sang to a one-year deal. In 27 games, Ho-Sang has 11 goals and nine assists, as he waits for another chance to make it in the NHL.

Frans Nielsen, C, Team Denmark: Nielsen, 37, spent 12 seasons with the New York Islanders, a fan favorite during some pretty rough times for the organization. Drafted in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Level Draft, Nelson became a staple with the Islanders in 2007.

Nielsen was known for his ability to win face-offs, but mostly for his decisive backhand move. Over his 10-year career with the Islanders, before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2016, Niesen recorded 119 goals and 230 assists in 606 games.

Nielsen is playing for the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL (Germany) this season, with six goals and eight assists in 20 games.

Peter Regin, C, Team Denmark: Regin, 37, signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders in July of 2013, but his time on the island was short-lived. After 44 games with New York and just two goals and five assists, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, along with teammate Pierre-Marc Bouchard for a fourth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.

After playing the last six years in the KHL with Jokerit Helsinki, Regin agreed to a one-year with HC Ambria-Piotta of the National League (SUI) for the 2021-22 season.

Valterri Filppula, C, Team Finland: Filppula, 37, played just one season for the New York Islanders, as he was essentially signed to fill the role Frans Nielsen left behind. In that one season, 2018-19, Filppula recorded 17 goals and 14 assists in 72 games.

Following the season, Filppula signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Level Draft.

In 37 games with the Geneve-Servette HC (SUI) this season, Filppula has 13 goals and 22 assists.

Nielsen is playing for the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL (Germany) this season, with six goals and eight assists in 20 games.

Leo Komarov, C, Team Finland: Komarov, 35, otherwise known as “Uncle Leo” spent three full seasons with the New York Islanders, leaving at the start of this season to play in the KHL after it evident that a spot on the Islanders’ NHL roster was not available.

Komarov played in 327 games with the Islanders, with 11 goals and 37 assists. He was slotted in alongside Mathew Barzal in the absence of Anders Lee during the 2020-21 season and despite fan belief, played a focal role in their road to the postseason and then their elongated playoff run.

Komarov has four goals and two assists in 18 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL this season.

Aaron Ness, D, Team USA: Ness, 31, was drafted by the New York Islanders 40th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Level Draft.  The Minnesota native spent seven seasons with the Islanders, having played 29 games at the NHL level and 280 in the AHL.

In those 29 games, Ness had one goal, two assists, and 12 PIM in 15:38 ATOI. Following the 2015-2016 season, Ness, a free agent, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Washington Capitals.

He is playing for the Providence Bruins of the AHL this season and has nine assists in 30 games.

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