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Bo Horvat to make NHL debut versus Colorado


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When Junior eligible forward Bo Horvat didnt return to the London Knights of the OHL on assignment after the Vancouver Canucks preseason many were excited to see what the prospect could do at the NHL level, but they would all have to wait as an injury suffered during the preseason resulted in a conditioning stint with the AHLs Utica Comets for the majority of October. Needing to get back up to the ability needed to jump into the NHL, Horvats time in the AHL with the Comets is nearly over according to general manager Jim Benning who has a timetable set for a Sunday return for the intriguing youngster to jump into the Canucks roster.

While talking to TSN 1040 on Thursday morning, Benning said that Horvat will have two more games in Utica before Sundays return to the Canucks where he will be coming into a two week stretch where the team faces their toughest opposition to date after a strong 6-3-0 start to the season while Horvat has been on his injury conditioning assignment with the AHLs Comets getting rare games in the minors as a Junior eligible player.

With Shawn Matthias struggling, Horvat could be making a jump to the third line with Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian when he does get into the Vancouver lineup. Nobody knows what head coach Willie Desjardins and general manager Jim Benning have in mind for the former/current London Knight, but the long awaited chance to see what the prospect can do with the Canucks is closer than ever.

The face of Bo is returning. Here's to hoping he has a solid 9 game stint and plays well at the World Juniors. Then management can take a good hard look and decide if he's ready for the big game. ...either way whatever ends up happening, Bo's injury was really a blessing in disguise. If he ends up staying with the team, awesome. If not, 6 games in the AHL with the conditioning stint, 9 games in the NHL, playing the World Juniors and then heading back down to the juniors is way more than what he should've had. A lot more time to adapt to the pro game and get a feel of it, more development, just plus's all across the board for him. Absolutely no harm in that.

With that, likely see Bo suit up in his first game next Tuesday, Nov.4th against the Avs. I see Matthias being the odd man out as a healthy scratch considering he hasn't been playing great. Plus from what I remember seeing, Richardson is much better on the wing than Matthias. Possibly see a Richardson-Horvat-Kassian line to start thins off.

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If Matthias can build on last game where he showed his speed and potential, it may be a tougher decision for WD and JB to slot Bo in.

Certainly he will be a help in the circle but if that line with Kass, Richardson and Matthias starts to consistently play like they did last game, it will be hard to break them up in the hopes Bo can improve things.

I expect that line to continue to get better. Both Richardson and Matthias commented on how poor they have played and how they are starting to come around. I don't see WD as someone who would mess with it if it is showing promise.

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As I understand it, if he is on the 23 man roster whether he is playing or scratched, the games count toward the 9 games he is allowed before eligibility to be sent to Junior runs out. Am I wrong? That would mean his eligibility runs out Nov. 20.

A junior-aged player with a contract can play up to nine NHL games as a trial period. If he is returned to junior before the tenth game, his contract is effectively put on hold: when he goes to training camp the following season, he will be in the first year of his contract.
Once the player appears in his tenth NHL game, his contract kicks in. He can still be returned to his junior club after that. But at season's end, a full contract year will expire.

If I am right then we will not be able to keep him up until the World Jrs.

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I'd say

Vey Horvat Kassian

Dorsett Richardson Hansen

I'd like to see

Hansen - Horvat - Kassian (adds some offense to the 3rd line in Hansen, without taking away Richie's defensive ability)

Vey - Richardson - Dorsett (F/O help in case Vey struggles in the dot, plus Richie also brings grit and good D; we'd also be able to see how much of a play-maker Vey can be, esp. with a black hole like Richie)

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Spin it around.

I'd like to see Bo play with two vets. Higgins and Burrows, or Burrows and Hansen. Get him started with guys who create pressure defensively and he has to match their work rate and intensity. Let them match up against top lines using his size in the middle plus face off prowess; Bo's specialty.

If he's good defensively, lets see what he's got? We'll know right away if he can help the team...

(BTW, that potentially leaves an offensive 3rd line of Higgins / Bonino / Kassian. That will also tell us quickly if Kassian is really the offensive player we hope he is? 4th line of Vey or Mathias / Richardson / Dorsett.)

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This is the perfect point in the season to bring him in. If he starts vs Nashville on Sunday and sticks for 9 games he will play through a lot of quality teams. Including 2 games with Ana which you know if we lose Bonino and Sbisa are going to go even harder the next game. This will be an interesting development opportunity for sure. If he starts a 9 game stint with Av's game Tuesday he will land his 9th game against the Chicago. (this being if he gets his 9 game tryout).

Nashville, Colorado, San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Ottawa, Arizona, Edmonton, Anaheim, and Chicago.

That is a great sample size to see how he fairs against some of the best and most common teams we play against. Whether or not he sticks is another thing. I hope he plays his first game vs the Aves on tuesday. I work this weekend and am off on tues :D (Work evenings)

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Hopefully his 0 points in 4 games in the AHL will translate into the NHL :bigblush:

Lol. He's been playing 3rd line in Utica. You don't just shoot him 1st line over the regulars there. Coaches have said he's been responsible in all 3 zones and he's had his chances at scoring. He'll do fine here as long as he keeps up his consistent 2-way game.

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This is the perfect point in the season to bring him in. If he starts vs Nashville on Sunday

I highly doubt he plays Sunday. He's going to play Friday & Saturday with Utica then fly over to Vancouver on Sunday. Pretty sure Willie won't play him for a 3rd straight game..would be a waste of a game from the 9 he has.

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