Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

(Article)'It seems like wherever we go, we’re a package deal': Horvat and Shinkaruk growing together from the start


Recommended Posts



Bo Horvat isn’t named after Bo Jackson. Not David Bowie, either.

His parents, they just liked the name.

Guess they couldn’t have known then he’d have the potential for a long NHL career where he’s destined to be tortured by “Bo Knows” references.

Stuff like, “Bo knows pressure,” “Bo knows Cory Schneider,” and “Bo knows the Oilers don’t have a defenceman and the Flames don’t have a goalie.”

You could go all day.

Bo knows relief. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself).

That came with a splendid debut to the Young Stars Classic tournament. He turned a defender inside-out on his first shift. He scored a goal on his second.

That was fun. At the centre of one of the more shocking trades in Canucks history, he was ushered into an uncomfortable spotlight with Schneider’s No. 35 emblazoned on his forehead like the Bat signal. That tattoo isn’t going anywhere. At least, not in the near future.

But it was refreshing to Horvat to be playing again, where killing penalties and winning faceoffs mattered more than whether or not the Schneider trade was shrewd or disastrous.

The scrutiny will come again. The Canucks haven’t had a prospect facing this much heat since the Sedin twins.

He certainly looks ready for it, and I’m not talking about his frame, which can make him seem like a man among boys in Penticton.

On his first day with media, Horvat stood in the middle of a locker-room filled with awkward teenagers, and answered questions with the poise and delivery not unlike Jonathan Toews, Captain Serious.

“If there’s any kid I know who could handle this much pressure, it’s definitely him,” said Hunter Shinkaruk, who has quickly become Horvat’s teammate, linemate and friend.

“He’s a grounded kid and he’s really humble. He puts expectations on himself that are going to be a lot higher than most fans put on him.

“We joke around about (the pressure) a little bit. But he’s going to handle it great. If anyone can do it, it’s him.”

Shinkaruk has been great for Horvat. He’s busting with a personality that is both playful and lucid. He looks to be the perfect foil for the austere Horvat, and it’s great news for the Canucks that they’ve become fast friends because they can’t seem to shake each other.

Drafted by the same team in the first round, ensuring they will spend years developing together, they are represented by the same agency. They’re playing on the same line here. They were on a line at the Canucks prospects’ camp earlier this summer. Even Brent Sutter put them together at the Canadian national junior camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in early August.

“I laughed at that,” Horvat said. “It seems like wherever we go, we’re a package deal. We’re always together.

“He’s a great player and a great guy to be around. It’s great to have a guy like that to go through all this with you.

“It’s pretty special we were drafted in the same round and we’ve become really good friends.”

Horvat isn’t likely going to make the Canucks this year. The team keeps saying everything is on the table, but he’s 18-years-old and has opportunity to play for an OHL team which is hosting the Memorial Cup as well as a chance to play in the world junior championship. Yes, the Canucks want to infuse their lineup with youth, but it may be a year or two early for Horvat.

He will be at main training camp, which begins Wednesday, and it’s there John Tortorella will first see him play. Tortorella passed on coming to this Young Stars tournament, because, apparently, he wanted his first look at the prospects to be surrounded by NHL players.

Tortorella should go crazy for Horvat. In his two games in Penticton, he’s killed penalties, taken control of net-front on the power play and won a string of faceoffs. Though, he did lose one in the third period of the first game Thursday, which the Canucks eventually won 3-2. His loss on that particular draw led directly to a goal against, allowing the young San Jose Sharks to tie the game at two.

“Me losing a faceoff? I can’t stand it. It’s my biggest pet peeve,” Horvat said. “When I lost that draw, I was pretty upset. I had to regroup from that.

“My dad (Tim Horvat) always dropped pucks for me down in the basement. I’ve always worked on my draws, since I was a little kid. Draws to me are really, really important. My dad drilled that into me when I was a little kid.”

Serious guy.

And if Horvat shows up to his Canucks first training camp and Shinkaruk is on his line, it will be just fine.

“It’s good to have someone you're familiar with,” Horvat said.

“I sure hope that’s the case.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first said these 2 are the next coming of Toews and Kane, people were laughing but just watch out in a couple years...they are exactly that but much better people with clearly way better attitude.

...these 2 are the future for us...wouldn't be surprised at all if Torts is sold on these guys and keeps them up on the NHL squad and plays them together...they are something special.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...