Bo Horvat He always thought leaving Vancouver was a possibility. It became a reality on Monday, as the Canucks traded captains with the New York Islanders.
Horvat heads to Long Island in exchange for advances Anthony Beauvilliersstraight ahead Come to Rati Both teams announced a conditional first-round pick in this year’s draft. The decision to transfer from Horvat was expected given that he was a suspended unrestricted free agent who had yet to find common ground with the Canucks over a new deal. However, his going to the Islanders was surprising, considering they weren’t among the teams rumored to be involved.
The Islanders closed out the weekend two points behind Metropolitan Division opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the final East wild-card spot. However, the Penguins have played three fewer games than the Islanders, with the Buffalo Sabers standing between the two while playing the same number of games as the Penguins.
“He brings a two-game, is used in all positions and is without a doubt about to have a career year, but over the past several years he has scored 30 to 35 goals,” said Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello. . “And I think that will definitely add a need for us.”
The addition of Horvat gives the Islanders a spot in the top six whose 31 goals are tied for eighth in the league, while his 54 points are tied for 21st. It also gives the Islanders another forward who can be trusted in a number of situations. Horvat led all Canucks forwards in 5-on-5 ice time and shortstop minutes, and was second in power play minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick.
As for trying to keep Horvat for the long haul? The 27-year-old is in the final season of a six-year contract extension and has an average annual value of $5.5 million. Vancouver kept 25% of Horvat’s salary cap in the deal.
“You make these kind of transactions because you can improve your team today and tomorrow,” said Lamoriello. “And in my opinion, it makes us a better team and gives us a better chance for that [do] What do we want to do?”
Horvat will be one of four unrestricted free agents suspended on the island’s roster – along with the cannons Scott Mayfieldstraight ahead Zack Paris and goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov – Who would need a new deal. CapFriendly projects on the islands will have $16.275 million of available space.
“It all happened very quickly,” Horvat said. “We’ll see if we can get something done, but I’ll let that go [agent Pat Morris] And everyone has to deal with it.”
Parting ways with Horvat is also the latest in what has been a challenging season for the Canucks. They entered the campaign with playoff expectations after head coach Bruce Boudreau replaced Travis Green in December 2021 after an 8-15-2 start. From there, the Canucks found consistency under Boudreau and went 32-15-10 for the remainder of 2021-22. Although they ultimately fell short by five points from a wild spot, what Boudreau achieved created the expectation that the Canucks could potentially reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
Instead, the team opened the season with a seven-game losing streak and mustered just two points from a pair of overtime losses. The only time the Canucks passed the . 500 mark was on December 27, when they were 16-15-3, before losing seven of the next eight. The subsequent loss on January 21 proved to be Boudreau’s last game behind the bench.
The Canucks fired Boudreau and replaced him with former Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tucci, who previously worked as an analyst on TNT broadcasts. The Canucks won their first game under Tocchet but lost their second—a five-goal loss to the Seattle Kraken—leading Tocchet to say in his post-game remarks that the team was “nice”.
All of these events also lead to the Canucks being closer to the lottery than the playoffs. They were 14 points off last place in the Western Conference, gaining nine more points than the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently have the fewest points in the West and the second-fewest in the NHL behind the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets had 33 points at the start of the week, while the Blackhawks had 34.
Beauvillier’s arrival now means the Canucks have a top nine offensive tackle, who, at 25, could be part of their future plans. He has nine goals and 20 points in 49 games. He is now on pace to finish the season with 34 points, which would equal what he scored last season in 75 games. As for that future? Getting Raty and a first-round pick may also come in handy in the years to come.
Ratti, who was at one point thought of as a first-round pick, ended up in the second round in 2021. The Finnish centre-back spent another season playing for Gokuret on loan from Karpat in Liga, the league’s highest league. Finnish hockey, where he scored 13 goals and 40 points in 41 games. Ratti moved to North America at the start of this season, playing primarily for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate. He has seven goals and 15 points in 27 games in the AHL and also has two points in 12 games with the Islanders this season. Ratty’s last game came on Sunday when he scored just under nine minutes and shot twice in the Islanders’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, before being loaned back to the AHL.
The pairing of the Islanders’ first-round pick along with their own first-round pick gives the Canucks more draft capital in what is seen as a promising draft class. The Canucks are probably among the many teams still in the running for the first pick to take on top prospect skater Conor Bedard. In total, the Canucks had four draft picks in the first three rounds and seven draft picks overall.
The Vancouver-headed conditional pick is a protected Top-12 and will slip into the 2024 draft if unprotected.
ESPN senior NHL writer Greg Wochinsky contributed to this report.