Dale Hunter and the London Knights seem to make a habit out of this "developing top NHL prospects thing," don't they?
Bo Horvat is one from a handful of talented players who were integral parts of this year's OHL champion and Memorial Cup participant, and he's also a top prospect in the 2013 NHL Draft class. What sets him apart from the rest of the field is that he excels as a consistent two-way player, and is a responsible presence in the middle of the ice.
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His leadership and playmaking ability at both ends of the rink makes Horvat a selfless player who has no problem setting up his teammates for scoring opportunities and making physical plays to benefit his team. Though he only posted 30 points in the 2011-2012 season, Horvat doubled his point production with 61 points this past year, including tripling his goal total from 11 to 33. He was also one of the best players in the faceoff circle in the OHL this season, winning 60 to 70 percent of faceoffs every game.
Horvat has proven that he can adapt to any situation. He’s seen time on the power play, even strength and on the penalty kill. His on-ice presence makes his teammates better in every zone and in the offensive zone, Horvat’s attention to detail allows him to see passing lanes and think ahead of the play. When he shoots the puck himself, his shot is hard and accurate. He is not afraid to battle along the boards and keeps his cool in high pressure situations.
Scouts consider Horvat a coach’s dream, as he is quick to make changes, strives to consistently outwork everyone on the ice and adapts to all styles of play. He is a leader on the ice and in the locker room.
At 6-foot and 195 lbs., Horvat could take his game to the next level by using his frame to check the puck and separate players from the puck. By doing so, he could generate more offensive opportunities and become even more opportunistic than he already is.
Horvat’s style and skills have been compared to Blue Jackets prospect and 2012 second-round draft pick Boone Jenner. With the Blue Jackets, Horvat could fit in as a two-way player on the second or third line. He could also be used extensively in the faceoff circle. Horvat is listed at No. 15 on NHL Central Scouting’s final draft prospect ranking, but because of his off-the-scoresheet stats, he is considered an underrated pick.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-201367 33 28 61 3 29