Islanders make a splash, acquire Horvat from the Canucks

New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, Bo Horvat. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)
New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, Bo Horvat. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images) /

If you thought that the NHL’s trade season was still a couple of weeks away, the New York Islanders proved you wrong by making a monster trade with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

It’s been no secret that Vancouver has been preparing for some major changes, the first of which has already happened in the form of Rick Tocchet taking over as head coach. Well, step two in the reshaping of the Canucks has happened now too.

Long-time captain Bo Horvat is officially on the move, as the Canucks have agreed to send him to the Islanders in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional first-round pick.

The Islanders have acquired Bo Horvat from the Canucks.

Horvat, a veteran of 621 NHL games, all with the Canucks, will go to New York in the midst of one of his best seasons. Through 49 games this year, Horvat has scored 31 goals to go with 23 assists (54 points). He was Vancouver’s leader in goals this season and was second in points.

At 27 years of age, Horvat has the potential to be an incredibly important asset for the Isles. In the short term, the team will look for him to continue scoring goals the way that he has so far this season, as only seven players league-wide have lit the lamp more often than he has since October.

As one might expect, the Islanders are again near the bottom of the league in terms of goals per game (2.8), so getting some additional scoring from the former Canucks captain would be a tremendous help.

Entering play on Monday, New York is two points out of the playoffs in a competitive Eastern Conference, so this is an acquisition that could put them over the top in 2023.

In the long term, Horvat will need a new contract, as his will expire at the conclusion of this season.

For Vancouver, Beauvillier has proven to be a consistent 30-40 points scorer and brings some valuable postseason experience to an inexperienced Canucks roster. He has 20 points (nine goals and 11 assists) in 49 games this season and is under contract through next year.

Raty, a 20-year-old center, has played 12 NHL games, all this season. He was drafted by the Islanders in the second round in 2021.

The first-round pick is a conditional pick, so it will come in either 2023 or 2024 for the Canucks.

It’s a little surprising to me that the Canucks made this move so early, as I’m sure there were other teams in play, but why postpone the inevitable?

Vancouver has failed to establish itself as a playoff team and Stanley Cup contender despite its young core and now is in a difficult position as a result.

With that said, getting an established NHL forward, a young player, and a first-round pick is great for this franchise as it looks to turn a corner.

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For the Islanders, this has the potential to be a season-changing move. If Horvat adapts and brings his goal-scoring to New York, no team in the East will be able to sleep on the Isles.