Our long nightmare is over. After a year of trying to move Roberto Luongo, Mike Gillis played the only card left in his deck: trading the younger Cory Schneider to the NJ Devils in exchange for the 9th overall pick in the 2013 draft which turned out to be centerman Bo Horvat from the CHL.
Horvat is one of the most complete forwards in this draft. He is tough, hard working, and defensively skilled, with enough offensive ability to project as a scoring line player. He was a top player for one of the best teams in the CHL. He is a good skater, with a technically sound stride, as he picks up speed quickly and easily. He is a strong, physical center who will lay the body, displaying the two-way work ethic NHL teams want to see. He is an aware penalty killer, good at faceoffs, and overall projects as a center who will start his shift in the defensive zone more often than not. His creativity progressed throughout this season, and his puck skills, hand-eye coordination, and playmaking vision all rank as above average; he can flash high-end offensive skill. It is difficult to find a weakness in his game.
Back to Schneider, losing him hurts in the short term and we'll have to wait and see if he develops into the unquestioned #1 we long believed he would be. The Devils "win" the trade by virtue of impact as Schneider assumes Broduer's seat relatively soon instead of Luongo's right now. I do enjoy that he'll be able now to drive Vigneault mad on a regular basis. The Canucks have either already done a ton of sweet talking or are shining up their knee pads to kiss Mr. Luongo's backside. It's Luongo's team once again and, for Vancouver to come ahead in this deal will ride on how both Horvat and Eddie Lack (or failing him Eriksson or Cannata) develop as NHL regulars. In the meantime the Canucks are left with Luongo, still one of the best (and most quotable) goalies around.
Gillis said he did not speak with Luongo before agreeing to Schneider trade.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2013
Here is how the trade went down on TSN:
We wish Schneider the absolute best of luck and thank him for dancing in the graveyard as eloquently as he did.
Gillis talks about the Schneider trade, Luongo's possible response, and more: