Canucks’ First Round Pick (9th Overall)
Another NHL draft has come and gone and, as usual, there were sureties, surprises and speculation aplenty.
The Colorado Avalanche did what they said they would do and drafted Nathan McKinnon 1st overall, defenseman Seth Jones dropped to 4th overall to the Nashville Predators despite being touted as a potential #1 pick, and numerous trades were made, involving the likes of David Bolland.
With the ninth overall pick, the Canucks selected:
Name: Bo Horvat
Junior Team: London Knights (OHL)
Height: 6 ftWeight: 211 lb
From the surface, this pick looks very solid. While finishing fourth on his team in scoring, behind fellow centremen Max Domi and Alex Broadhurst, Horvat put up respectable numbers last season.
He had 33 goals and 61 points in 67 games, but he really stepped up his game in the playoffs.
He led the Knights in playoff goals with 16 and was awarded the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as OHL playoff MVP as he helped his team to the OHL Championship.
Horvat is exactly the type of player the Canucks are looking for. He plays good offense, is reliable on defense, and is a strong face-off man. He has a large frame and won’t be afraid to battle in the corner and block shots.
He’s basically the prototypical John Tortorella player. He’s also proven his worth in the playoffs; something the Canucks sorely need after falling in the first round the past two years.
If he or one of our other young centres can prove their worth on the second line, then maybe Ryan Kesler can actually move to the wing.
Playing in all situations probably contributes to Kesler’s injury problems, so taking less face-offs may help with that.
Plus, in small sample sizes, Kesler has showed flashes of brilliance on the wing when playing with Mats Sundin, Derek Roy, and on the powerplay with the Sedins.
Odds are, Horvat will spend at least a year in the AHL, but when he gets his chance with the big club, he should be able to take full advantage.
A player who can play in any situation, on any line, at any position and will be productive in whatever role he is asked to play. Very smart and adaptable and whatever situation he’s playing in, he understands what is required and can carry out those requirements. A very good skater with good quickness, agility and balance.
He is a player who ‘shows up’ at the most critical times with key plays that help the team win. He uses his body to assert and to force his way into those hard areas where he knows he can make a difference. He always competes and will do whatever is necessary to help his team. - Craig Button, TSN