Bo Horvat hoping to take Islanders ‘to the next step’ in 2023 after trade from Canucks

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Bo Horvat Islanders
Bo Horvat (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Bo Horvat understands why the New York Islanders made waves around the hockey world on Monday night to acquire him from the Vancouver Canucks for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a 2023 conditional first-round draft pick. 

“I think I could definitely add to that two-way element where you can put me out in any key situation and take a big face-off or at the end of the game scoring a big goal,” Horvat said during his introductory press conference shortly after the deal was made official. “Or at least helping on it. I think I can add that to this group. I’ve been given the opportunity and I’m going to try my best to do that.”

The Islanders needed an injection of offensive talent as they enter the All-Star break ranked 21st in the NHL in goals scored this season while scoring two or fewer goals in 12 of their last 13 games. 

Horvat provides just that. The 27-year-old center has already tied a career-high of 31 goals this season in just 49 games. Eleven of those have come on the power play, which will be a welcomed addition for an Islanders man-advantage unit that is 3-for-its-last-64 going into the break.

“A lot of it is just going to the right areas and putting myself in a position to score those goals or make those plays,” Horvat said about his career year. “It’s no secret I’ve worked with [Hockey Hall of Famer] Adam Oates and he’s helped my game a lot, especially over the last couple years…

“I like to think I worked hard this summer and it’s been paying off.”

Bo Horvat Islanders
Bo Horvat (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Islanders will be hoping that Horvat’s career year will translate to New York to get them back into the thick of the playoff picture. A team that made two consecutive Stanley Cup semifinals — including a 1-0 loss in Game 7 of the semis to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2021 — missed the playoffs last season and are currently two points out of the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot with 30 games left to play.

“They’ve had such great success in the past and came up just short. One goal away,” Horvat said. “A lot of those games, I followed really closely. I really like the build of this team and the leadership group and how everything is built here.

“I think I can add to that and hopefully take these guys to the next step — making the playoffs and then taking the next step if we get into it and over the hump to fight for a Stanley Cup.”

For more on the Islanders and Bo Horvat, visit AMNY.com