June 30 2013 03:12PM
Bo Horvat chats with reporters after being drafted on Sunday.
The Canucks made a pretty major maneuver on Sunday, trading Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the ninth overall pick in the NHL draft, which they promptly used to select Bo Horvat.
Horvat is a two-way centreman and he described himself as such in conversations with the media following the pick. "I was really surprised it's definitely shocking sitting there," Horvat added, "but like I said, anything can happen." Well it's good that young Horvat is well prepared to deal with incredulity. He is headed to Vancouver afterall, where the most messed up thing imaginable is what one should always be prepared for...
Read past the jump for more thoughts on the trade and pick.
Ultimately Cory Schneider fetched the Canucks less of a return in a trade than Semyon Varlamov netted the Washington Capitals a couple of years ago, though the circumstances there aren't precisely comparable since the Varlamov deal didn't take place on draft day, and picks in this seasons draft are particularly valuable.
Essentially Mike Gillis and the Canucks made out better - not in terms of quantity but in terms of asset quality - than the Predators with Lindback, the Kings with Bernier, or the Senators with Bishop. As they should've of course, Schneider has a longer and more impressive track record than those three...
As Pierre LeBrun reports, it came down to four teams in particular in bidding for Cory Schneider including the Oilers, the Blue Jackets, the Flames and of course the Devils.
The fourth team in on Cory Schneider was Columbus. So it was NJ-Edmonton-Columbus-Calgary as Final four. Philly nibbled but not long— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2013
Meanwhile Ryan Rishaug reports that the Canucks were requiring the Oilers to pay a premium if they wanted to be the team that ended up with Cory Schneider:
Told asking price for Schneider to Oilers was the 7, a 2nd and a good young player. High price to trade within division, Oil passed.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 30, 2013
Again I tend to think that's sensible. It's not as if the Canucks accepted a lesser offer to avoid trading Schneider within the division. But if they were going to trade a good young player to the Oilers then the Oilers were going to have to pay a "we'll have to face you six times a year, and possibly in the playoffs" fee. Edmonton wasn't willing to, and so Cory Schneider was sold to the Devils for the ninth pick in the draft. I wonder if Vancouver may have been more willing to make a deal with the Oilers, however, if they'd thought Horvat would be snapped up before the ninth pick rolled around...
The Cory Schneider trade will be a tough pill for Canucks fans to swallow, but the fact is, goaltending is unpredictable voodoo. The annalls of hockey history are littered with "can't miss goaltenders" who never even reach "everyday starter" status. I don't think Schneider will be one of those guys necessarily, but he's not a slam dunk to be much more than a modestly above average starter based on his track record and historical comparables.
At the end of the day Luongo is a surer bet to provide the Canucks with steady, every day starting goaltending over the short-term - albeit with a lower ceiling and diminishing returns as he ages - though that's offset by the fact that in deciding to keep Luongo and deal Schneider, the Canucks also added a top-10 pick at one of the deepest drafts in recent memory... As we explained repeatedly in the lead up to Sunday's draft, from a hockey value perspective, keeping Luongo was probably the right call...
Bo Horvat's comparables in terms of CHL production are underwhelming, but he faced the toughest competition among all London Knights forwards, played in every situation, and was productive offensively while starring on a team that came out of the OHL, and competed in the Memorial Cup. As Mike Gillis told Elliotte Friedman earlier this month: "You better draft centres because it's impossible to get them." You know what's not impossible to get, by the way? Goaltending...
Horvat is Mike Gillis's third straight first round pick from the Ontario Hockey League, and the Canucks have got another pick on the board in the twenty-fourth overall selection. Stay tuned, because the Canucks news today could well get even more interesting.