It’s time to continue our “2013 First Rounders: Where are they now?” series. Today, Vancouver Canucks draft pick Bo Horvat takes center stage as we analyze Horvat’s road to the NHL Draft, as well as his recent play.
When and Where was he drafted?
In 2011, Horvat was drafted to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, after being named the the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario’s midget player of the year. He began with the Knights the following season, in 2011-2012, and scored a goal in his OHL debut. Horvat’s rookie season with the Knights went pretty well, as he notched 11 goals and 19 assists in 64 games, helping the Knights claim the OHL championship. London was eliminated in the Memorial Cup Final.
The following year treated him even better, as he blasted off to score 33 goals and 28 assists in 67 games. However, Horvat did not lack defensive skills, as the annual OHL coaches poll voted him best in face-offs and shot blocking. Bo carried his success into the playoffs of the 2012-2013 season, and went on to score 16 goals and a total of 23 points as the Knights took home another OHL championship. Bo was given the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the leading playoff scorer.
London was eliminated in the semifinals for the Memorial Cup, however, Horvat still was honored as the Most Sportsmanlike Player with zero penalty minutes in the tournament.
Horvat’s ability to be successful on both sides of the ice grabbed the attention of scouts, and Horvat entered the draft as the 15th ranked North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and the 10th ranked by the International Scouting Services.
Bo was drafted ninth overall by the Vancouver Canucks, who used the slot they recieved after trading Cory Schneider. He followed up by signing a three-year entry level contract with Vancouver, but was assigned to the OHL for one more season.
How his season went
Horvat’s third season with the London Knights was very successful, as tallied a career-high 74 points as the assistant captain of the team. London was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, but Bo still managed to score five goals and tally six assists in nine games.
Bo won the OHL Championship for the Knights by scoring the Game 7 clincher with 0.1 seconds remaining in the third
Thoughts on Last Season
After nearly making the Canucks roster before Vancouver traded for two centers, Bo Horvat excelled in the OHL with London once again. His offensive talent is clear, and is matched with excellent defensive play as well.
Bo’s two-way forward playing style is something that is cherished in the NHL, and Bo has the potential to make an enormous impact with Vancouver if he can carry his play from the OHL to the NHL.