The Vancouver Canucks have finally made a decision on the future of Bo Horvat.
After nearly a year of uncertainty related to his expiring contract, and the awarding of contracts to other young players on the team, general manager Patrick Allvin and associate Jim Rutherford decided to trade away their captain.
And in doing so, they actually garnered quite the return.
Coming back to Vancouver is a 2023 first round pick, 25-year-old forward Anthony Beauvillier and forward prospect Aatu Raty – a hefty package, considering Horvat could be as little as a rental for general manager Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders.
Beauvillier has 102 goals and 209 points in 457 regular season games for the Islanders, while Raty has scored two NHL goals in 12 games played. Horvat, on the other hand, has 201 goals and 420 points in 621 games for the Canucks and is in the middle of a career year, to which he already has matched his career-high of 31 goals and has 54 points in 49 games played.
“First of all, we would like to thank Bo Horvat for all that he has done for the Vancouver Canucks during his nine seasons in Vancouver,” Allvin said. “He has been a great leader and ambassador for our hockey club. As difficult as it is to trade away our captain, we are excited to add a high-quality 25-year-old winger in Anthony Beauvillier, a young centre in Aatu Raty, and a protected first-round draft pick. These pieces will be a big part of our development and growth moving forward.”
With the 27-year-old Horvat having sat calmly and watched the show as fellow forwards JT Miller and Andrei Kuzmenko garnered big-money extensions of their own, the hope for the fourth-year captain was that of a new contract before his current six-year, $33 million deal came to a close following the 2022-23 season.
That never happened.
“Even in the beginning of the year, I thought I’d be a Canuck for life,” Horvat told media following the trade. “Things didn’t work out that way. But it led me to this opportunity right here… I’m grateful that the New York Islanders really believe in me and I’m proud to be a New Yorker Islander now. Honestly, I can’t wait.”
Contract talks apparently went nowhere, and the team ultimately decided to deal its top dog to a team that is nowhere near a guarantee to make the postseason. Having missed the playoffs in seven of his nine NHL seasons thus far, Horvat will look to help his new Islanders teammates achieve an extended season this spring.
“It’s been a whirlwind for me and my family,” Horvat told media. “We’re really excited. I’ve heard lots of unbelievable things about the organization, the city all the players on the team… They have a great culture, a great leadership group and hopefully I can add to that.”