Hey, no pressure, kid. Bo Horvat has been signed by a hockey team in a hockey-mad market. The team traded a goaltender who was thought to be their starter for the forseeable future to get him. Horvat's gotta be good. Let's get to know him.
Born: April 5, 1995 in London, Ontario
Weight: 206 pounds
2012-13 Team: London Knights (OHL)
Awards: Gold Medal in 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Most goals in the 2012-13 OHL playoffs. Wayne Gretzky 99 Award for being MVP of the 2012-13 OHL Playoffs.
Via Hockey's Future:
Horvat’s bullish style of play garnered a lot of attention this year both in London and during the Knights’ run through the OHL playoffs. On a young team, Horvat stepped up and assumed a huge leadership responsibility, while showing his offensive bonafides.
But what impresses observers most about Horvat is how hard he plays the game. He can score, but his truest strengths are defensive play and skill in the faceoff circle. Though he would be an ideal third-line centre in the NHL, Horvat could find himself on a team’s top six -- as the sandpaper on an offensively gifted line. He could be lethal in that role as he has the hands and nose for the net to take advantage of the dirty areas of the net.
Strengths - You can make a very strong case that Bo Horvat is the most complete player in this year’s draft class. He does so many things well and can make a positive impact in so many different ways that he amazes me almost every time I see him. Horvat is an extremely reliable two-way player, who is among the best in the OHL when it comes to winning faceoffs. His attention to detail, especially in his own zone, is second to none. He’s rarely caught out of position and is used in every defensive situation by Knights head coach, Dale Hunter. Horvat isn’t just a defensive specialist, though. He’s a good skater, knows how to drive possession and possesses above average puck skills. He sees the ice well, has a very high hockey IQ and always knows where he needs to be on the ice. Horvat has a hard, accurate shot and is a good passer as well. Horvat leaves everything he has on the ice every shift and is very rarely outworked. He’s very strong on the puck and wins a ton of battles along the boards. He’ll finish his checks and isn’t afraid to be physical, but he always keeps a calm demeanour no matter what happens. Horvat doesn’t take many penalties or retaliate to the opposition when they attempt to get under his skin, which you don’t find often in a young player who plays the way he does. He’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas, he’ll block shots and is the definition of a team first guy. Horvat will do whatever it takes to win and has outstanding leadership qualities. He most certainly has potential to take on a leadership role in the NHL down the road.
Weaknesses - While he’s a good skater, he would benefit from a little more explosiveness in his stride. He isn’t really dynamic offensively, but given he has offensive ability and is above average in so many aspects of the game, that shouldn’t hinder him at all. Horvat isn’t afraid to use his body and will finish checks, but I’d like to see a little more edge in his game, too.
Here is footage of the Canucks drafting Horvat:
Big frame for an 18 year-old. Compared to Ryan O'Reilly and Patrice Bergeron by the TSN guys. His rating clearly shot up after the OHL Playoffs where he dominated this past season. Projected as better than a 3rd line center. Can (hopefully) be a top 6 forward.
Welcome to the club, Bo! (Cool name.) All we need now is a guy named Luke and we got the Dukes of Hazzard thang going on.
so excited to be part of the Vancouver Canucks Organization #pumped— Bo Horvat (@BoHorvat) June 30, 2013