The Vancouver Canucks are keeping rookie Bo Horvat. Coach Willie Desjardins confirmed it this morning, prior to tonight’s home game against New Jersey, which will be Horvat’s all-important ninth of the season.
Horvat, 19, has four points in his last two games, catching fire just as Devils goalie Cory Schneider, for whom he was essentially traded, arrives for a visit.
“Everything he got he earned,” said Desjardins of Horvat. “Lots of factors went into the decision, but ultimately he’s played really well.”
Horvat has been centering a fourth line between wingers Jannik Hansen, the NHL’s reigning first star of the week, and Derek Dorsett.
Schneider, meanwhile, maintains he hasn’t been paying attention to Horvat’s progress.
“I haven’t really, to be honest. You’ve got to think that a kid taken in the top 10 is a pretty good player,” Schneider said yesterday, per NJ.com. “I’ll watch him a little more tomorrow and see what kind of player he is. They’ve got some good young players coming up and in the lineup right now. They’ve really kind of turned the page from last year.”
Technically, the Canucks could still send Horvat back to junior after he plays his tenth game, but the first year of his entry-level contract will have been burned.
Horvat also, apparently, remains an option to play for Canada at the upcoming World Juniors.