TORONTO -- It is the trade forever attached to the 2013 NHL Draft. At the time, Bo Horvat had no idea he would be involved.
"I think you're going to want to hear this," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the crowd at Prudential Center in Newark on June 30.
It was then Commissioner Bettman said the Vancouver Canucks announced they had traded goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the ninth pick in the draft, putting an unexpected end to a goaltending controversy that made headlines in Vancouver for more than a year.
Heading into his first Canucks training camp in September, Horvat has grown accustomed to being associated with the trade that ended an intense and at times bizarre saga.
"You try not to think of it too much. It's always going to be in the back of your mind. You just need to get over it and play your game," Horvat told NHL.com at the annual Rookie Showcase here. "There's nothing you can do about it but prove they made the right choice and that I can play there. It's always going to be in the back of my mind, but I just need to forget about it and go play my game."
Horvat finished eighth in playoff scoring in the Ontario Hockey League, helping the Knights to the OHL championship and a Memorial Cup appearance. It was in that tournament Horvat scored a goal off a remarkable between-the-legs pass from teammate Max Domi, who was taken 12th at the draft by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Up until the Schneider trade, Horvat was best remembered for that goal.
"It was just sick. That was by far one of the better goals I've been a part of," Horvat said. "I kind of had to pick it out of the air at the last second. I can't believe he [Domi] did it. It was crazy."
The goal was one of the top highlights of the season and got thousands of views online. But Horvat's season, and career, will be remembered for his connection to the Luongo-Schneider saga.
"[The trade] was a shock to all of us. The whole building was in shock. I'm sure the whole hockey world was in shock," Horvat said. "Me being in that situation, it's an honor for [Vancouver] to move up in the draft and get me. I was really honored that way. Now I have to prove to them they made the right choice."
It should take at least a couple of years before Canucks management is able to pass judgment on how it ultimately handled the drama in net. In the meantime, one of their top prospects will continue to do what compelled the team to trade up to draft him in the first place.
"It's always going to be that extra pressure," Horvat said. "All that stuff is going to be thrown into it. It doesn't really bother me that much. I feel that if I just go play my game and keep working hard, I should be fine."
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