The face of the Canucks franchise for years to come may well be Bo Horvat. Regarded as the heir to the captaincy of Henrik Sedin, Horvat has shown he has the leadership, poise, and talent to represent the Canucks. This season, Horvat proved that, especially in the second half of the season. He was one of the lone bright spots in the dog days of the year, as he got better as the years got on. The sophomore season is often lauded as being a step back for players that performed at great levels in their rookie seasons. For the first half of the year, Horvat looked like he might fall into the trap of that stereotype. But he broke through and showed Canucks fans yet again that he was ready to make the next step in his career.


Hero Chart:

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As I’ll mention below, his Corsi stat lines are concerning, but the hope is he can change his ways on a team that will benefit him more in those opportunities as the years go on. He’s a top 6 scorer, which is definitely a positive for the team.


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40 points on a losing team isn’t a bad number, but if we would have performed at the same level he did near the end of the year, his numbers would have been stellar. He had a nice hit total, which isn’t really what he’s known for, and stayed out of the penalty box for the most part.


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Corsi is definitely where you can count Horvat’s flaws this season. His 45.83 CF% was one of the worst on the team and his -152 stat line is really an eyesore.

Scoring Chances:

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His scoring chance stats weren’t ideal, but they also weren’t the worst ever especially considering the team he was playing on. 


Horvat had a respectable sophomore campaign, with room to grow as the seasons go on for sure. He proved he can be a formidable scorer in this league, and lead this franchise for the years to come. 


Photo via Grainne, of course. 

  • Fred-65

    First I must say I believe in Horvat. But man the media drool over this kid. Some times he’s good and deserves it but a lot of the time he’s down right invisible hence his disaster like +/- Worse on Vcr and ranked 896th in the league OUCH ! Horvat is not the first 20/21 year old to play in the league but I’m betting there aren’t that many 896th +/- still holding down their roster spot. If other youngster get the hard love treatment maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Horvat to review his game

  • I foresee an excellent year coming up for Bo Horvat.

    I have Bo penciled in to center our 3rd line with Baertschi and Virtanen on the wings. The idea is for this trio to own their positions and work towards taking over our 2nd line.

    Assuming Rodin from the Swedisch elite league fits with the Sedins on our 1st line, this would free up Hansen to play with Sutter on the 2nd line. This leaves room for Jim Benning to sign one elite free agent this summer to fit on our 2nd line. Stamkos would be a nice pickup. We would finaly have a NHL caliber 2nd line.

    Sedin – Sedin – Rodin

    Stamkos – Sutter – Hansen

    Baertschi – Horvat – Virtanen

    Etem – Granlund – Dorsett

    • You’re going to pay Steven Stamkos $10 million a year to play with Brandon Sutter? Not sure you’ve really thought that one through.

      Anyways, I thought Horvat was largely a victim of his deployment this year, as the only guy who could win a faceoff after Henrik got hurt and thus the de facto defensive center after Sutter went down (only player on entire team with more than 40% of his shifts starting in defensive zone). I also blame the fact that the Canucks employed Matt Bartkowski, Yannick Weber, Alex Biega and Luca Sbisa as everyday players for generally low possession numbers on all forwards. Bo is going to have a good year next year.

        • Mattchu

          Howowow would the Canucks afford Stamkos and how would they convince him to move to Vanny so he can start off as a second line winger?

          Personally I don’t see the point of getting a guy like Stamkos at 9+ mil a season when there are so many other holes the Canucks need to fill and when they still have the Sedins. Spending 9+ mil a season on 2 top 4 D-men would benefit the team much more than 1 forward.

          Horvat may very well develop into a great 1st/2nd line centre by the time (or before) the Sedins decide to call er quits, and building from the inside is what the management seems to want to do.

          • Who are these two top four defensemen we should add? The list of available UFAs is short, unless you mean trading assets to acquire them, which we shouldn’t do. Our depth on D is not that bad.

            Stamkos is coming off a serious injury. He may be fine with starting on our 2nd line, knowing he will be our 1st line starter soon. He could also spend some time with the twins on our 1st as the season progresses.

          • Mattchu

            I didn’t have two particular guys in mind, the point of my comment was just that two guys at 4-5 mil a piece to fill some holes in the roster would probably be better than to go for a player very much out of the Canucks range.

            But for fun; as per the article written on CA about Barrie and an offer sheet, you could say the Canucks could get Barrie, resign Hammer and potentially have some funds left over. To me that would be a better bet than to go for Stamkos.

            I do agree that the Canucks should not trade assets though..

    • frontman

      *If* Stammer leaves TBL (which seems likely, but is not at this point a fait accompli), a significant part of his leaving is the disenchantment of being shifted to winger/second line duty because of last season’s success of the Triplets’ line. I doubt that he is going anywhere that will not give him 1C right off the bat. The quesionis, is Stammer ready to write off one year of his Cup-capable prime years for this team?

      Baertschi – Stamkos – Virtanen
      Sedin – Sedin – Sutter
      Hansen – Horvat – Rodin
      Etem – Granlund – Dorsett

      Not sure Jake is ready for 1RW duty; not sure Sven is built for 1LW duty. Maybe we do draft Dubois & fold him in on LW with Stammer; with Stammer as a rightie, and Dubois as a leftie, you could have some faceoff symbiosis on the top line when the kid is ready to play.

      Sutter on Hank’s wing would give Hank coverage on draws. As passengers go, Sutter would be passible on puck retrieval & defensive play, and he does have an NHL-level shot. I’m not sure what Rodin is, but 3rd line wth Bo should allow us to find out, and maybe his play pushes him up the roster. At the very least, Granlund should be good at keeping Gaunce’s chair warm for him until 2017-18.

      But let’s face it: we’re not getting Stammer, and we’re not getting Looch. And that’s fine, because really, top line is not our biggest need organizationally, anyways. We have no transition game because our D suck. The succession plan on D (if we had one) has failed, and we’re looking at 3 years-and-a-prayer before we can pretend to have a blue line in the top half of the league. If we can add Barrie, swap #5 to MTL for Juulsen or Dietz, and drafting one of the Top 3 D, we could fix that all in one year.

      Of course, for all that to work, we’d have to get lucky on a number of fronts, and this team doesn’t do lucky very well.

      • There is no doubt a high end free agent will call Vancouver home this summer, most likely a forward. I believe Stamkos, or Lucic, or Eriksson are on top of Jim Bennings list.

        Our D succession looks ok to me with more pieces coming at the draft. Not much out there for UFA defensemen, so I doubt management will go that way. Your “quick fix” of adding Barrie(unlikely), trading our #5 with the Habs(why would they do this) and drafting a top 3 defencemen without our #5 pick(also unlikely) is not going to work.

        • JuiceBox

          Oh, we’ll probably add a UFA, but it won’t be Looch or Stamkos. My guess is either Eriksson or Boedker. I’d prefer Boedker, if I had to choose; even though he’s a passenger possession-wise and a PP specialist, we can probably get a better deal with him, both in monetary & term values. And he will contribute on a Sedin-led PP unit. Personally, I’d rather stay out of the UFA market entirely. I just don’t see the point of adding a top-6 forward when our D is too weak to get us any further than being a bubble team.

          Our *recovery plan* for our D is coming along. The succession plan (transitioning away from an Edler-Hammer-Juice-Salo) brought in Garrison (which was close but didn’t work), Stanton, Diaz, Tanev (which did work), Sbisa, & Weber. We currently have Edler, Hutton (who should have been in Utica this season, had a succession plan worked), and Tanev, along with a couple of guys who also really should be in Utica next year, but probably won’t be. If the succession plan was working, we’d not have the #5 pick this year, and likely a top-15 pick next year.

          Adding Barrie is unlikely, as you say, unless we can offer a package comparable to what we would lose in an offer sheet compensation package (starting with the 2017 first rounder, and adding other assets). Even then, I wouldn’t upgrade our odds any further than “rather unlikely”.

          The Habs will try to get either #4 or #5, so they can get Dubois. Assuming EDM doesn’t take him, I think the Habs would make us a good offer. Of course, that is assuming that Chiarelli either reaches a bit for a D, doesn’t cut a deal himself with Bergevin, or prefers the slower-skating Tkachuk. Again, unlikely.

          I see my wording was unclear on the MTL point. The deal would be for one of Montreal’s D prospects and their #9 pick for our 5 (plus probably a good asset from us as well). One of the top 3 D will be available at the MTL #9 overall pick. Any measure of unlikeliness of getting a top D away from of our #5 position is based on the likelihood of getting Montreal’s #9 pick (above).

          As I said, quite a few things would have to work out in our favour to get what I outlined; and as I said, we don’t have a history of having all the pieces fall into place for us. Which is why I’d focus on improving our D as much as possible during the off-season. There’s enough good forward depth in the top ranks of the 2017 draft pool.

  • i am worried about horvat. coaching staff is walking a fine line with him and his development is a key yardstick to hold willy accountable next season as a coach. he is a good player but not a prodigy that i can see. he needs to play and learn defence first, but he is being played offence first right now.

    he was asked to do too much last season, especially later, and while that freedom was possibly good for his offensive development and confidence it’s a big risk. he has developed some bad habits he may not be able to unlearn. there are too many individual effort rushes and lost cause rushes.

    if there is a single player that shows the possible path for the canucks to oilertown by ruining a great prospect, he is that guy. but, if there is a guy to lead them out of that wilderness, he is also that guy.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Man o Man – You can tell this is a Vancouver blog… it’s that time of the year when everyone quits working and signs on UI for the summer – pure LAZINESS on here… even the Laffs and Coilers forums are offering up more of interest than draft rankings and end of seson player reviews ffs!

    Anyhow down to business – as usual for this market, Horvat is being massively overrated and pressured/rushed into developing into a first/second line centre when CLEARLY he isn’t at that level and likely never will be (outside the deluded BC fanbase) – personally I’d rather have Cory Schneider back teamed with Markstrom as a one two punch – young 9th pick players like Bo are a dime a dozen that’s for sure… MINUS 38 over two seasons ffs

    Hell – what’s next on here, suggesting Steven Stamkos as a SECOND LINER below the Sardines? (see above) LOL


    **every thumbs down counts as PROOF I speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth ;p


    • Personally I would rather have traded Schneider to Edmonton, selected Rasmussen and, in all likelihood, prevented the Oilers from being bad enough from selecting Draisaitl, McDavid and probably Dubois.

      Not that the dullards that run this place will ever speak the truth…

  • Hockey Warrior

    For perspective, Henrik had Kesler had 36 and 37 points in their respective full second seasons. They were not asked to cover the other team’s best players AND contribute offensively.

    Yes, the +/- is disconcerting, but understandable. He showed a lot of offensive creativity last year, and I would not put past him if he became one of the leagues best centers in his fourth year like Henrik.

  • Mattchu

    When I see Horvat I’m reminded a bit of Trevor Linden. Great leader who gives it his all but will never be a superstar. He’ll never contend for the scoring title but he’s also the type of player who won’t quit and that is a valuable player to have on your team. I’m not worried about his Corsi or +/-. Because of circumstances he was forced to play a position that he didn’t have the experience or the skill set to play. Give him a few years and he will be a very capable 2nd line centre and, depending on who his wingers are, possibly a 1st line centre.

  • JuiceBox

    Come on guys, think about this a little….

    What is the point in spending $10M on Stamkos if they are going to have the same average goaltending and ice the same swiss cheese defense they did last year?

    They need to solidify the crease with a true #1 goaltender and they need to completely overhaul their defense before they even consider spending that kind of money in free agency.

  • frontman

    All this talk about defense, tenders even. We need to score goals first and foremost. The net is fine, let’s grow our own D but we aren’t winning much without putting pucks into someone else’s net.