Following the blockbuster trade, the newest member of the New York Islanders, forward Bo Horvat, addressed the media.
Bo Horvat, a ninth-overall pick by the Vancouver Canucks back in 2013, spent nine seasons in the British Colombia province.
When Henrik Sedin retired, Horvat was chosen to wear the “C” for the organization starting in 2019, and although a likely relocation was coming for the 27-year-old, Monday’s trade came as a shock.
“A little bit in shock, and it’s kind of been a big whirlwind for me right now and my family,” Horvat said. “But now, obviously, really excited.”
“I’ve heard lots of unbelievable things about the organization, the city, and all the players on it, and nothing but respect for this organization. So really looking forward to it, the families looking forward to it, and I want to help this team out as best as possible.”
Horvat is a pending unrestricted free agent but shared that there have been no contract talks with the Islanders as of yet.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello shared that the goal is to get that done as soon as possible.
“Nothing has been discussed yet. It all kind of all happened so fast. So yeah, no talk on it yet,” Horvat said. “Obviously, we’ll see if we can get something done, but I’ll leave that to Pat (Morris, his agent) and everybody to handle that.”
Although he has never donned a New York Islanders sweater, Horvat is familiar with a handful of players on the roster.
“I’ve actually played with a couple of the guys in the team at World Championships and know a little bit about them,” Horvat said.
He went on to share that he played with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mathew Barzal, and Josh Bailey, along with Anthony Beauvillier, who is headed to Vancouver.
As for what Horvat knows about the Islanders, it seems that he did his homework.
“They play such a great team game. Everybody’s buying in and working towards one common goal, and I think I can add that extra, hopefully, that extra little bit of offense and help them make that next step,” Horvat said.
“Again, I’m really looking forward to it. They have a great culture, a great leadership group, and hopefully, I can add to that.”
Horvat had done it all on the ice for Vancouver, playing on both special team units, and was used in every situation imaginable.
Despite joining a new team, he’s ready to do whatever he can to help the Islanders win hockey games in the second half.
“I’m going to try to do whatever I can to help. There’s going to be pressure on me no matter where I go. I’ve had that pretty much my whole career so far, playing in Vancouver, being the captain, and stuff like that,” Horvat said. “I think I could definitely add that two-way element, where you can put me out in any key situation and take a big face-off or be out at the end of the game scoring a big goal or at least helping on it.”
“I think I can add that to this group, given the opportunity, and I’m gonna try my best to do that.”
For the first seven years of his career, Horvat was around a 25-goal, 25-assist player. But the last two seasons, he showcased more offense than ever before and is currently fifth in the NHL in goals with 31.
He’s on pace for 52 goals, which would shatter his career-high 31 he set during the 2021-22 season.
NYI Hockey Now asked Horvat what had changed for him.
“Just going to the right areas and putting myself in a position to score those goals or make those plays. I’m sure it’s no secret I’ve been working with Adam Oates, and he’s been helping my game a lot and, especially over the last couple of years, has given me feedback and then helped me with my game.
“I like to think I worked hard this summer, and it’s been paying off.”
While we do not know where Horvat will slot into the lineup, there’s a good chance he will line up alongside Mathew Barzal, who has been struggling with linemates changing like clockwork.
“I have a lot of respect for Mat’s game,” Horvat said. “Just his ability to make plays and pass the puck, and he’s just got a lot of offensive talent, and I think I can complement that with some two-way play.”
“If we get the opportunity to play with each other, I’d really enjoy that, but again, it’s not up to me. It’s up to the coaching staff. I’m just, honestly, I’m happy to be there.”