Bo Knows. Bolieve. Bo shoots, Bo scores. I hope to see and hear these for a long time to come. Bo has been on a tear since the All Star break. He has 12 points, 8 of those being goals. For a guy who has been known for his defensive game, those are a lot of goals. Oh, did I mention he is a 19 year old rookie? What Bo has done with the role he has been given is incredible for a player his age. His line mates have been most commonly Ronald Kenins, Jannik Hansen, and Derek Dorsett. Those players are great for the role they have been given: Hard working bottom six forwards. These guys are not known for their scoring ability. Yet, here we are with a young player who sits 3rd in teenaged rookie scoring.
When Bo was selected with the 9th overall pick in the 2013 draft, many people cringed at the cost of receiving that pick. The beloved Cory Schneider was sent to the New Jersey Devils for the pick that would become Bo Horvat. If the Canucks Management had to go back in time and decide whether or not to make the trade, I think they would. The player Bo is already turning into is making the trade worth the 9th Overall pick. Bo is on pace for more points than the beloved Ryan Kesler had in his first few seasons. Who would have thought would be a stat mentioned with Bo's name?
What has helped Bo reach this next gear? Careful physical training provided by the Canucks trainers and dedication by Bo to become a better player every chance he gets.
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And we can witness Bo's "next gear" with his goal in the San Jose game.
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He is able to beat Brent Burns to the net and deftly chips the puck over Niemi. Not only is Bo showing some speed and strong puck handling ability, he is showing his hockey smarts with how he chips the puck instead of going for a wrist shot..
He has great leaders to sit with in the locker room to bounce questions off or to watch lead. Having the Captain joke with you on the bench during an intense game to relieve some pressure is huge for a young player like Bo. Having veteran leaders talk about your maturity and poise in the media is huge for the confidence of any young player. But, being able to watch Henrik Sedin lead the Canucks with quiet poise throughout the highs and lows of the regular season is just as important as learning to dangle everyone on the ice for the guy who is most likely going to be next in line for Captain of the Canucks.
Bo also has gained the confidence of his coach Willie Desjardins and it shows in his deployment. Willie has noted a change in Bo's tempo and a greater confidence with the puck. Most importantly, Willie is comfortable with putting Bo out in key defensive situations. For example, took a defensive zone faceoff against Ryan Getzlaf during a 6 on 4 during the last minute of the Canucks-Ducks game. Bo won the faceoff, allowing the Canucks to take possession of he puck and safely close out the last minute of the game. These are extremely important plays in the final stretch of games.
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 9: Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his goal as he skates between Jiri Sekac #46 of the Anaheim Ducks and Luca Sbisa #5 of the Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
The injection of youth into the line up is greatly benefiting the Canucks. Having young players score goals and be super enthusiastic on the bench and in the locker room is infectious and it shows. Who better to lead the youth movement than Bo Horvat? The Canucks look like they are having fun again and with the playoffs on the horizon playing with passion and fire is all the more important.
The playoffs are around the corner and the Canucks look ready to make a run. I Bolieve. Do you Bolieve?