They’re raving about Bo Horvat in Vancouver.
And in an interesting twist, they’re doing it just as New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, the goalie the Canucks traded to draft Horvat, is in town for a game Tuesday.
They’re also doing it just as Horvat, 19, is set to play his ninth NHL game, after which management will have to decide on keeping him, burning the first year of his entry-level contract in the process, or sending him back to junior.
Chances are, they’re going to keep him. After scoring his first NHL goal Thursday versus Anaheim, Horvat had three assists in last night’s 4-1 victory over Chicago. On top of that, he went 13 of 16 in the faceoff circle, with a few wins over one of the NHL’s best, Jonathan Toews.
“Believe it or not, that is my idol,” Horvat said of Toews, per the Vancouver Sun. “That’s the guy I want to model my game after, that’s the guy I watched growing up playing in the NHL. And to take a faceoff against him a couple of times and to be on the same sheet of ice as him, it’s pretty cool.”
Horvat has also drawn comparisons to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Considering the Canucks only recently traded Ryan Kesler — like Toews and Bergeron, a former Selke Trophy winner — the growing excitement in Vancouver about Horvat, though possibly a tad premature, is understandable.
“I wouldn’t believe he was 19 if I didn’t already know that,” linemate Derek Dorsett said. “The way he carries himself on and off the ice, it’s like he has played five or 10 years as a pro already.”