Bo Horvat has been with the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons. In those seasons he has logged 231 games and he has been a workhorse for Vancouver the last two seasons especially. Two years ago he appeared in the maximum 82 games and last season the young center appeared in 81 games. Thus far in his career he has averaged about a half-point per game, but he showed signs of improvement in 2016/17. The Canuck tallied 52 points in his 81 games last season for a 0.64 points-per-game average. The expectation with a young player is that he will continue to improve and, from that point of view, the Canucks have a promising prospect.

Horvat signs long term

The terms of Horvat's deal are six years and $5.5M per season. Jim Benning, the General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks, spoke about the deal recently in an interview that was posted to Canucks TV. In the interview Benning mentioned both a statistical perspective on Horvat and a fan-favorite perspective.

"It's an exciting day for us," Benning said. "He was our top scorer on the team last year. Our fans voted him MVP."

The Canucks are a franchise with two aging star players in both Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The twins have been the face of Vancouver for a generation. In their late 30s now they are both in the final years of their current contracts before becoming unrestricted free agents next summer.

With Horvat's deal he looks to be the face of the franchise in the post-Sedin-twin era in Vancouver. Horvat will not be a free agent until the 2023/24 season.

Can Vancouver make the playoffs?

The Canucks are facing a tough situation in the upcoming season. They will need to contend in the Pacific Division, a division that is loaded with talented players.

There are now eight teams in the division with the addition of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Canucks are considered co-last favorites at +3000 (ie. 30 to 1) along with the Arizona Coyotes (odds from bet365). Even the Golden Knights have shorter odds in their NHL debut so the general opinion with the Canucks is that they will not contend for a playoff spot.

But Benning sees Horvat as a "core player" on the team. The General Manager also sees leadership ability and a strong worth ethic.

The signing of Horvat is the 2nd big transaction for Vancouver in recent weeks. About a week ago the team signed prize free agent Thomas Vanek. There have been other signings since July 1st, including one involving Sam Gagner. If Horvat improves on his scoring totals, if Vanek plays like he did with Detroit last year, and if Gagner has a strong season then the Canucks could in fact be a little under-rated. It will be tough to finish top-three in the Pacific Division, but this is a team that should challenge itself to get a wild card in the upcoming season.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!