Fans who were hoping their favourite team would take a versatile forward in round one this year had their eyes opened the first time they saw Bo Horvat play.
While he didn’t post outrageous numbers with the London Knights this season, Horvat had a solid offensive campaign for his OHL Championship squad. In 67 games for London in 2012-13, Horvat recorded 61 points and added another 23 in 21 games come playoff time, scoring more goals than any other player in the OHL playoffs. He was also a star for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, recording four points in five games.
Horvat can do it all for his team. He is a solid player in the offensive and defensive zones, he can play on the power play and penalty kill, he willingly goes to the front of the net and into the corners and he is also a very strong centreman in the faceoff circle for his age. He models his game after Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards and that same versatile, gritty style shines through.
The area Horvat could stand to improve his game is his overall physicality. While he will mix it up and go to the hard areas of the ice, he doesn’t go out of his way to engage others physically. Some added aggression could take his game to the next level. He is not a great skater but is proficient enough to get by and can challenge defenders with speed.
With his strong play in every zone and situation, Horvat projects as a quality two-way player at the next level. He won’t blow you away with his scoring ability but he is a smart offensive player who can put up points without sacrificing anything in the back end. Moreover, he’ll only continue to get better as he matures physically and develops a deeper awareness of the game.
Expect Horvat to come off the board in the first half of round one.
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