Frozen Pool Forensics: Bo Horvat

Cam Robinson

2016-01-29

Bo Horvat is on fire but can you trust it for the rest of the season?

There have been four months’ worth of players featured on this column since I took it over and not a single one from my hometown, Vancouver Canucks. Well that all changes today. This week we are looking at second year centre, Bo Horvat and the progression he has shown early on in his professional career.

 

Being known as the player traded for Cory Schneider is a heavy burden to carry. Schneider has established himself as one of the true workhorse goaltenders in the game today. If he was on a better team, odds are he’d have some more Vezina nominations to his credit. However, Horvat has done his part in helping the Canucks fans forget about the Boston College alumni.

 

Last season, Horvat made the NHL as a 19-year-old when Willie Desjardins made it clear he did not want any teenagers on his squad. Despite seeing fourth line minutes and virtually no power play time (0:16/per game), Horvat managed to earn the trust of his coaches and peers and post a solid rookie season totalling 13 goals and 25 points in 68 games. His four points in six playoffs games may not have done justice to the freshman as he was the Canucks’ best player throughout most of their first round loss to Calgary.

 

Fast forward to this season and the sophomore slump had its cold, gnarly hands wrapped all over Horvat. Through 39 games, he had a mere 10 points and was a minus-17. He hadn’t scored a goal in two months. All that changed with the turnover to 2016. Since the calendar flipped, Horvat has seven goals and 12 points in 12 games and has formed a very consistent and threatening partnership with fellow-youngster, Sven Baertschi. Using Dobber’s Line Combinations Tool, we can see the two players have seen a good amount of time together at both even-strength and on the power play.

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

22.27%