Where’d That Come From?
You may be familiar with the so-called, “Big One,” seismologists are always saying is going to hit the Pacific Northwest coast one day. Well it finally happened Sunday as Vancouver Canucks General Manager Michael D. Gillis traded away goalie Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils.
At the very moment those words left Gary Bettman’s thin little lips, the jaws of Canucks Nation collectively hit the ground.
Schneider is gone and there’s nothing anyone who preferred he stay can do about it. So while the die-hard Ginger Jesus supporters weep, the more calm and cool ask the question: What do the Canucks get in return?
The 9th overall pick in the 2013 Entry Draft was used to select 18 year old Centre from the London Knights Bo Horvat. It’s still unconfirmed if he has the shortest first name of any pick in franchise history, but I digress.
Before we delve into who Bo Horvat is, it must be said, there is more the Vancouver Canucks receive in this deal than just the Rodney, Ontario native. The Canucks free themselves of one goalie situation but now also face a whole different beast.
Can Gillis (mainly) and Tortorella kiss Luongo’s ass enough between now and September so that he won’t refuse to play.
Opinion is mixed on the topic but I for one would be pretty peeved if I was Bobby Lu for being made to sweat it out for over a year. Mike Gillis’ lips better be brown when all is said and done.
Trade Grade: C+: This trade is so risky and reeks of incompetency on Gillis’ part. His handling of the goalie situation has been horrendous and he owes a written apology to both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider.
#9: Bo Horvat (Trade via New Jersey)
Bo Horvat was born April 5th, 1995 in London, Ontario and has had incredible success at the major junior level. Interesting to note is the fact Horvat was selected 9th overall by the London Knights in the 2011 Priority Selection Draft. Horvat would go on to win gold at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament and was named OHL playoffs MVP in 2013.
The winner of that award is presented with the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award so you can take it the bank that any player who receives it must be something special. He also led in goals during the same playoffs and a goal scoring centre is exactly what the Canucks need.
That’s not to say Horvat will make the team this season, but Tortorella does like his young players and the current #1 Centre in Vancouver is not a goal scorer. That’s not to mention the fact that Henrik Sedin will not be around forever so Horvat could be a future 3rd line centre with Ryan Kesler and Jordan Schroeder potentially at 1 and 2.
Horvat had 33 goals and 61 points in 67 games during the regular season with London and added 16 goals and 23 points in 21 games during the playoffs. That included the championship clinching goal with 0.1 seconds left in the final game. Talk about clutch.
One tough customer
Bo Horvat probably won’t do a whole lot of fighting but he is listed on the London Knights website as 6’0”, 203 pounds. That’s pretty solid for a guy who won’t turn 19 until next April. London Knights Assistant Coach Dylan Hunter told the London Free Press recently, “Even when he shakes your hand, he’s got big ol’ mitts on him, he has a heavy shot.
It’s a natural thing he’s got. Sometimes, you forget his age. It’s tough to knock him off the puck. It’s crazy to see at 17 [now 18] because you usually grow into that muscle and he’s already got that strength.
The older he gets, he’s just going to get stronger and it bodes him well for him at the next level.” Just what the doctor ordered for the Vancouver Canucks.
Horvat Hi-Lite reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6h6TZIWuLA
so excited to be part of the Vancouver Canucks Organization #pumped
— Bo Horvat (@BoHorvat) June 30, 2013
#24: Hunter Shinkaruk
Mike Gillis stole the show so much early on, Canucks fans almost forgot there was another pick to make at 24 and with that pick, Calgary native Hunter Shinkaruk was made one of the newest members of the Vancouver Canucks organization.
Just going off Shinkaruk’s hi-lite reel, he’s a sniper and was so described by today’s TSN Panel. You can see more in the video below. Shinner put up 37 goals and 86 points along with just 44 penalty minutes in 64 games last season with Medicine Hat.
That was good enough for 14th in WHL scoring and after Curtis Lazar, is the 2nd WHL forward to be selected in this year’s first round. Lazar, who played with Prince Albert, was selected by Ottawa 17th and by comparison, only had 61 points. Hunter will turn 19 year old on October 13th and much like Horvat, has worn the Maple Leaf.
He’s won a bronze medal and was named to the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge All-Star team. He also won bronze at the 2012 IIHF World U-18 Championship.
In a couple years, Shinkaruk could make for a top 6 player on the Vancouver Canucks.
Grade: B+: For such a late first round pick, they got a great, pure goal scorer. Shinkaruk Hi-Lite reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdoWDjo99rU
Alas, like every draft pick, any one player can be a bust and undoubtedly, a large amount of them will be. Whole Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk have the potential to be golden for the Vancouver Canucks in years to come and the window closing, only time will tell what output they yield.
Mike Gillis certainly isn’t making it easy to form an opinion on him and if he can’t convince Roberto Luongo to play in Vancouver, he will have more on his plate than the fat guy in the Wedding Singer. The legacy to be left though by Michael D. will also fall on the success of these two prospects.
Here’s to hoping they’re developed well and most importantly, given a chance.
Vancouver also picks at 85th, 115th, 145th, 175th, and 205th.