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HPW - Bo Horvat



If the Buffalo Sabres reason for existence is to win the Stanley Cup, they might want to take a look at Bo Horvat.  How can you tie one mid-round player to hockey’s biggest prize?  Ask former NHL GM, and current analyst Craig Button.  Hockey Prospect Watch next profiles Bo Horvat.

 

In a live chat through TSN, Craig Button talked glowingly of Bo Horvat. 

“He can shoot, he can pass,he can push opponents off the puck, he can create distractions at the net, he is smart, he is determined,he is versatile”,said Button.  “Bo is a player who helps teams win and while he won't be a scoring champion, I am confident that he will be a Stanley Cup Champion.”

 

Sounds good, right?  Sign him up.  Horvat doesn’t have the elite level skills that the top prospects do, but he’ll bring an awful lot to the team that calls his name.  Much like the projected #1 pick Nathan MacKinnon, Horvat left the biggest impression in the biggest games.

 

Bo Horvat is a 6’0’’ 200 lb center that has played with the London Knights.  You may remember that London took part in the Memorial Cup this year, and it’s because of Horvat’s heroics.  

 

In Game 7 of the OHL Finals, Horvat scored a pair of goals, including the gamewinner.  Time of the goal - 19:59:9 of the third period.  Horvat’s goal with one tenth-of-a-second remaining stands as yet another testament to his MVP status.

 

Seven goals and four assists in the finals, Horvat came to play.  The OHL title was just the wrap-up to what was an incredible OHL tournament for Horvat.  He finished out with16 goals and 23 points in 21 OHL playoff games.


Ranked as the 15th best North American skater, Horvat could be a target for the Sabres with the 16th pick.  Here are some reviews:

 

Hockey Prospectus - He is tough, hard working, and defensively skilled, with enough offensive ability to project as a scoring line player...He is a strong, physical center who will lay the body, displaying the two-way work ethic NHL teams want to see. He is an aware penalty killer, good at faceoffs, and overall projects as a center who will start his shift in the defensive zone more often than not. His creativity progressed throughout this season, and his puck skills, hand-eye coordination, and playmaking vision all rank as above average; he can flash high-end offensive skill. It is difficult to find a weakness in his game. - Corey Pronman

 

Hockey’s Future.com - Horvat’s bullish style of play garnered a lot of attention this year both in London and during the Knights’ run through the OHL playoffs. On a young team, Horvat stepped up and assumed a huge leadership responsibility, while showing his offensive bonafides.  But what impresses observers most about Horvat is how hard he plays the game. He can score, but his truest strengths are defensive play and skill in the faceoff circle. Though he would be an ideal third-line centre in the NHL, Horvat could find himself on a team’s top six -- as the sandpaper on an offensively gifted line. He could be lethal in that role as he has the hands and nose for the net to take advantage of the dirty areas of the net.


Horvat’s skill establishes him as a likely mid-first round pick.  If we're talking about the Sabres, we're likely talking about the "bullish" kid that could be part of the next core.  Craig Button would approve.  Will Darcy Regier?

 


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