The Canucks enter this offseason with decisions needing to be made on three core players. Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller all have expiring contracts within the next 12 months and the franchise needs to make a decision on what to do with these players. We already analyzed what an extension might look like for J.T. Miller and now it’s time to do the same for captain Bo Horvat.
Ever since he was drafted with the 9th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Horvat has impressed the fan base with his work ethic and attitude. Evaluated as a player that many would top out as a middle-six centreman during his draft process, Horvat has evolved into a thirty-goal scorer and one of the most important players on the team. He was named the 14th captain in franchise history and the 2019-20 season opener.
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Horvat will be entering the final season of a $33 million / six-year contract ($5.5 million AAV) that he signed in 2017. Since then, he has improved by leaps and bounds and will now see a significant raise on that number.
There is some hope among the fan base that as the captain and a player that has developed a close relationship with the city, Horvat might be willing to take a more team-friendly contract. However, Horvat doesn’t owe the Canucks anything and after failing to put a legitimate roster around him for years, it’s unreasonable to expect the centreman to believe that the team would adequately use any cap savings created in a cheaper extension.
This past season was the best of Horvat’s career. He scored 31 goals and recorded 52 points across 70 games. Centremen who can score 30 goals don’t grow on trees and are a very valuable asset to any team. Considering Horvat will be 28 next season, right in the likely prime of his career,  this is his best chance at a monster deal. Let’s take a look at some comparables for Horvat’s deal.
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Analyzing 3 comparables for Bo Horvat

Sean Couturier – $7.75 AAV over 8 years

To start, we can take a look at Sean Couturier who signed an extension with the Philadelphia Flyers just before the 2021-22 NHL season. Couturier’s deal doesn’t kick in until next season. In the year leading up to his extension, he scored 18 goals and had 41 points in 45 games, recording over a 30-goal pace across a full season. He’s also widely regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in the league, winning the Selke Trophy for the 2019-20 season.
Couturier will turn 30 during the early part of the first season of his extension. While his defensive acumen gives him leverage that Horvat doesn’t have, he didn’t match Horvat’s goal-scoring pace and is older at the time of signing.

Mark Scheifele – $6.125 over 8 years

Mark Scheifele is another centre that signed a long-term extension after a career season. While the situation is slightly different because Scheifele was younger, he did score 29 goals in a breakout season before signing this contract, production that isn’t far off Horvat’s from this past year. Since signing that deal, Scheifele has been well worth his contract, even scoring 38 goals in the 2018-19 season.
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The Jets were able to get Scheifele on this deal because of the term that they handed out despite his age and general lack of accolades. Horvat is a more proven player than Scheifele was at this time and will be looking to take advantage of that fact.

Brayden Schenn – $6.5 million over 8 years

When Brayden Schenn signed his extension in October of 2019, he had three seasons of at least 25 goals under his belt. While in 2018-19 he had only scored 17 goals, he still had more points that year than Horvat did this past season. Schenn also had a 70-point season under his belt.
Schenn was given a no-trade clause for the first five seasons that evolves into a modified clause for the final three. This is something that Horvat would likely also want for the security factor.
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Our ultimate prediction

We think that Horvat will sign for somewhere around $6.75 million over seven years. Just the fact that he’s a centreman that broke the 30-goal mark means that he has lots of value on the open market and it’s likely that he could get more if he decided to test free agency next season, especially if he had another strong season.
It’s also likely to include a significant no-trade clause. This deal would be a solid compromise by both sides and ensure that the captain is locked in Vancouver for the long run.
What do you think a Horvat extension could look like?