It looks like Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat will be traded this season, and the New York Islanders are already hitting the ground running on trade talks.
While many teams will call Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin regarding Horvat, NYI Hockey Now has learned that the Islanders have already checked in on the 27-year-old.
It’s worth noting that the Vancouver Canucks also had a scout at the New York Islanders’ Tuesday night game against Boston, one of 13 scouts in attendance.
Bo Horvat has 20 goals and nine assists in 28 games this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The Islanders currently have $10.859 million in available deadline space, and Horvat carries a cap hit of $5.5 million.
The Islanders would not need to create space to bring on Horvat. They would have money to spend on a defenseman, their second most significant need. Suppose they move on from a few forwards. In that case, New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello may even be able to add another forward, specifically a winger, to strengthen his forward group even more.
The Islanders are at least a goal scorer away from being a true Stanley Cup contender, and although Horvat has never scored at the rate he is scoring right now. As your mother and father used to say, “Get it while it’s hot.”
Despite the Islanders already having four centers rostered, the need for scoring is the priority. The way Horvat plays the game and the way he leads makes him a clear fit on the island. He has the energy like a Casey Cizikas and the tenacity of a Zach Parise, but also has a scoring touch that, right now, would have him leading the Islanders in goals by six.
The Islanders are certainly not the only team wanting to bring Horvat in, but given his face-off prowess (57.7 percent), goal-scoring ability, and on top of that, a lethal player on the power play (something Islanders needs), he would fill a ton of needs.
It will be a bidding war as the trade deadline nears.
Cost For Islanders
Islanders’ top prospect, centerman Aatu Räty holds significant value in the trade market. Räty, being a two-way center, could be intriguing for Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin, especially when he is trading one.
Also, if Vancouver does move Horvat, it likely means they are going into a complete rebuild. And Räty is not a bad piece to help get a turnaround started.
But the Islanders also have a few defensive prospects that could get the job done.
There’s no question that the Islanders’ 2023 first-round pick will also need to be in play.
Bolduc is in his third AHL season with the Bridgeport Islanders. After missing significant time with an injury last season, the 22-year-old defenseman has four goals and 16 assists in 24 games.
Odelius, an 18-year-old Swede, is currently playing in his home country for Djurgardens IF, with four assists in 25 games.
Here’s our updated trade package:
To Canucks: Samuel Bolduc, Calle Odelius, 2023 1st
To Islanders: Bo Horvat
Another top pick must head back to Vancouver if an extension is in place. But Horvat’s camp is likley not thinking about an extension as after a career year, he could do very well for himself if he tests free agency.
Potential Islanders Lineup
Here’s what the Islanders’ forward group could look like:
Brock Nelson-Mat Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
The New York Islanders did not add a forward this summer, as Lamoriello believed in his forward group. Some players, like Zach Parise, Mathew Barzal, and the fourth line, have bounced back, but others, like Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier, still are struggling, and it’s clear that head coach Lane Lambert is struggling to find consistent line combinations.
If the Islanders want to compete for a Stanley Cup, there’s no question a forward needs to be brought in. Bo Horvat and his tools could be an addition that not only helps get them back in the postseason after a lackluster 2021-22 season but a key player that can help the organization get back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1984.