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Bo Horvat
Bo Horvat 02-2015.JPG
Horvat with the Vancouver Canucks in 2015
Born (1995-04-05) April 5, 1995 (age 28)
Rodney, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team Vancouver Canucks
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 9th overall, 2013
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 2014–present

Bowie William Horvat (born April 5, 1995) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and captain of the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was selected ninth overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. During his junior career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), he won the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as playoff MVP in 2013, as well as two J. Ross Robertson Cup titles with the London Knights. Internationally, he has played for Team Canada at the 2012 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (under-18), 2014 IIHF U20 Championships and the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Early life

Horvat was born on April 5, 1995, in London, Ontario, to Tim and Cindy Horvat. He grew up in Rodney, Ontario, a 90-minute drive from Detroit, Michigan, and attended a number of Detroit Red Wings ice hockey games as a child. Bo and his younger brother Cal would often practise playing hockey in the family basement throughout their childhoods, until Horvat moved away at the age of 12 to live with a billet family and play with the Toronto Red Wings minor ice hockey team. In 2008, Horvat helped the Red Wings defeat the London Jr. Knights in the All-Toronto Peewee AAA hockey tournament, scoring 10 goals and leading the team with 16 points in the round-robin part of the tournament.

During the 2010–11 minor hockey season, Horvat played minor hockey for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs of the Alliance Hockey organization, where he was named the league player of the year after recording 47 goals and 71 assists for 118 points in 68 games. His Chiefs coach Rob Simpson described Horvat as a player who "put up a ton of points and maybe cheated [defensively] a little bit at times". When the Elgin-Middlesex season came to an end, Horvat also played in five games with the St. Thomas Stars of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, which was coached by his father, and helped them win their respective league championship. He used that cup of coffee stint with the Stars as a way of preparing for the impending jump from minor to junior ice hockey.

Playing career


Following his year with Elgin-Middlesex and St. Thomas, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) selected Horvat ninth overall in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection draft. Joining the Knights for the 2011–12 season, Horvat scored his first OHL goal in his league debut, an 8–0 win over the Saginaw Spirit on September 23, 2011. During his rookie year with London, Horvat scored 11 goals and recorded an additional 19 assists, and he posted a +27 plus–minus through 64 regular season games. That year, the Knights won the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions, defeating the Niagara IceDogs in a best-of-seven series, and they advanced to the 2012 Memorial Cup finals, where they were defeated in overtime by Canadian Hockey League (CHL) champions the Shawinigan Cataractes.

During the 2012–13 season, Horvat improved to 33 goals and 61 points in 67 regular-season games. This included a 17-game point streak in the middle of the season, which ended when the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeated the Knights 4–2 on January 13, 2013. He also received coaches' awards for the OHL Western Conference as the best face-off skater and shot blocker on the team. On the Knights' way to their second consecutive OHL championship, Horvat led the league with 16 goals and 23 points in 21 postseason games, the last of which was the game-winning goal with 0.1 seconds left to play in Game 7 of the OHL finals. The Knights defeated the Barrie Colts 3–2, and Horvat received the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award for the most valuable player in the OHL playoffs. Although the Knights lost to the Portland Winterhawks during the semifinal round of the 2013 Memorial Cup, Horvat, who had five points in as many games and did not record any penalty minutes, was awarded the George Parsons Trophy for the most sportsmanlike player during the tournament.

Leading into his professional draft year, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked Horvat the 15th-most valuable hockey prospect in North America. On June 30, 2013, the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL) traded goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, which they used to draft Horvat. On August 6, Horvat signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Vancouver. Although it appeared at first that Horvat would join the Canucks for the 2013–14 NHL season, coach John Tortorella wanted him to develop more in the OHL, where he would receive more playing time than the eight or nine minutes per game that an 18-year-old in the NHL would. The acquisition of Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh from the Carolina Hurricanes gave the Canucks enough roster depth that they could send Horvat and fellow draft pick Hunter Shinkaruk back to their respective junior teams.

Upon his return to London for the 2013–14 OHL season, Horvat was speculated to be the Knights' next captain, as both Jarred Tinordi and Scott Harrington had turned professional, but the Knights decided to postpone selecting a captain until after Christmas. The title ultimately went to Chris Tierney, while Horvat was named one of four alternate captains. As alternate captain, Horvat put together his second consecutive 30-goal campaign, with a career-best 44 assists and 74 points in the regular season. The Knights, meanwhile, fell short of becoming three-time OHL champions when they were defeated by the Guelph Storm in the semifinals.

Vancouver Canucks

Competing for an NHL roster spot in his second training camp with the Canucks the following season, Horvat was hit by Edmonton Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick during a pre-season game and suffered a shoulder injury. Upon recovering, he was assigned to the Canucks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utica Comets, on a conditioning basis. After five games without a point with Utica, Horvat returned to the Canucks.

Bo Horvat Millionaires
Horvat in 2015, wearing the Canucks' Vancouver Millionaires jersey

Horvat made his NHL debut on November 4, 2014, against the Colorado Avalanche. Six games later, he scored his first NHL goal on November 20 against Frederik Andersen of the Anaheim Ducks. The following game, he registered his first three assists in a 4–1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. On November 25, the Canucks announced that they would not be returning Horvat to the OHL despite his remaining year of junior eligibility. Despite Horvat's status as a highly anticipated prospect, Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins admitted later in the season he had not expected Horvat to compete for a roster spot. Playing on a line with wingers Jannik Hansen and fellow rookie Ronalds Ķēniņš, Horvat earned bottom-six ice time in his first year with Vancouver, averaging 12:15 minutes per game. In 68 games, Horvat scored 13 goals and 12 assists. His regular season play earned him two fifth-place votes for the Calder Memorial Trophy, ranking him 11th among first-year players for the rookie of the year award. During the playoffs, he added a team-high four points in six games during the Canucks' first-round loss to the Calgary Flames.

During the first half of the 2015–16 season, Horvat juggled heightened goal-scoring expectations along with increased defensive responsibility after injuries to Brandon Sutter and Henrik Sedin. After enduring two goal-scoring droughts of 9 and 27 games, respectively, he went on a six-game point streak between January 4 and 15, during which he scored six goals and nine points. When that streak ended on January 17, it was tied for the longest active point streak in the NHL. Horvat credited this change to advice from his father to shoot the puck more often, in lieu of bull-rushing the net, in addition to increased chemistry with left-winger Sven Bärtschi. Horvat ended his sophomore season with 16 goals and 40 points.

On January 10, 2017, Horvat was named an All-Star for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game after having tallied 13 goals and 16 assists up to that point. Horvat was the youngest Canuck to be selected for an All-Star Game since Trevor Linden. On March 3, 2017, Horvat was named as one of Vancouver's second alternate captains, replacing longtime Canuck Alex Burrows. Horvat ended the 2016–17 season with 20 goals, 32 assists and 52 points, setting career highs in all three categories.

On September 8, 2017, following the expiry of his entry-level contract after the previous season, the Canucks re-signed Horvat to a six-year, $33 million contract extension worth $5.5 million annually. On December 5, 2017, Horvat suffered a broken foot during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes which resulted in him missing six weeks of play. Despite missing 18 games over that span, Horvat managed to set a new career-high in goals with 22, often playing on the first line with Bärtschi and rookie Brock Boeser.

The following season, after the retirement of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Horvat was named one of four alternative captains for the Canucks, after not having served the role during the 2017–18 season. During the 2018–19 season, injuries on the Canucks as well as a lack of team depth forced Horvat to play most of the season without consistent linemates. However, Horvat still managed to set career highs in goals (27), assists (34), and points (61).

On October 9, 2019, Horvat was named the 14th captain of the franchise in a pre-game ceremony during the home opener of the Canucks' 50th season. On October 20, during a game against the New York Rangers, Horvat scored his 100th career goal, helping the Canucks win 3–2. Two days later in Vancouver's next game, Horvat notched his first career hat trick, leading the Canucks to a 5–2 win over the Detroit Red Wings after the team trailed in the game 2–0. After a months-long league-wide season suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Horvat joined the Canucks in their return to play on August 1, 2020, as the team qualified for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. The first-year captain would notch 10 goals and 2 assists for 12 points in 17 games, as the Canucks would win two series en route to a 7-game series elimination in Round 2 by the Vegas Golden Knights. Horvat's 10 goals would be good enough for the 3rd highest goal-scoring output in a playoff year by a Canuck, trailing only Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden's respective 16 and 12 goal efforts in the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs, where the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

He is the Canucks' National Hockey League Players' Association representative.

International play

Medal record
Representing  Canada
Ice hockey
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
Gold 2012 Slovakia
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Gold 2012 Canada

Horvat was a member of Team Ontario's under-16 team at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. Scoring a team-leading nine points (four goals and five assists) in six games, he helped Ontario to a fourth-place finish. The following year, he captained Team Ontario at the 2012 World U-17 Hockey Challenge to a bronze medal. He scored four goals and seven points in six games, including a goal and an assist in the bronze medal game against Sweden. The same year, he was named an alternate captain for Team Canada's under-18 team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. With two goals and four points in five games, he helped Canada to a gold medal.

During his third OHL season, Horvat was named to Canada's under-20 team for the 2014 World Junior Championships in Malmö, Sweden. After beginning the tournament in an offensive role, centring a line with Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart, he finished on Canada's checking line and earned praise from head coach Brent Sutter for his defensive play. In seven games, he recorded a goal and three points as Canada ranked fourth.

In 2015, the Vancouver Canucks had the option of loaning Horvat to Team Canada for the World Juniors, but instead chose to retain him in the NHL.

On April 12, 2018, Horvat was named to Team Canada's senior team to compete at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Personal life

Horvat is second cousins with fellow NHL player Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers. Because Horvat is slightly older than Konecny, the two did not play minor hockey together, but would regularly face each other throughout their junior and professional careers. Horvat's younger brother Cal also played for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and London Knights before deciding to become a police officer in Ontario. Horvat chose jersey number 53 in tribute to fellow London Knights draftee, goalie Ian Jenkins, who wore number 35 and died in an automobile accident in May 2011, shortly before he and Horvat were required to report to London's regular season training camp.

Horvat proposed to his longtime girlfriend, professional equestrian and curler Holly Donaldson, on September 3, 2018. They met during Horvat's junior hockey career, when Donaldson was attending the University of Western Ontario. The couple wed in July 2019, with Horvat's Canucks teammate Sven Bärtschi and his former OHL teammates Max Domi, Josh Anderson, and Chris Tierney all serving as groomsmen. The couple's first child, Gunnar Horvat, was born on June 28, 2020, shortly before Horvat was required to report to Vancouver's playoff training camp.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2011–12 London Knights OHL 64 11 19 30 8 18 1 3 4 0
2012–13 London Knights OHL 67 33 28 61 29 21 16 7 23 10
2013–14 London Knights OHL 54 30 44 74 36 9 5 6 11 4
2014–15 Utica Comets AHL 5 0 0 0 4
2014–15 Vancouver Canucks NHL 68 13 12 25 16 6 1 3 4 2
2015–16 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 16 24 40 18
2016–17 Vancouver Canucks NHL 81 20 32 52 27
2017–18 Vancouver Canucks NHL 64 22 22 44 10
2018–19 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 27 34 61 33
2019–20 Vancouver Canucks NHL 69 22 31 53 21 17 10 2 12 4
2020–21 Vancouver Canucks NHL 56 19 20 39 21
2021–22 Vancouver Canucks NHL 70 31 21 52 40
NHL totals 572 170 196 366 188 23 11 5 16 6

International play

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2011 Ontario CWG 6 4 5 9 6
2012 Ontario U17 6 4 3 7 6
2012 Canada IH (U18) 5 2 2 4 6
2014 Canada WJC 7 1 2 3 6
2018 Canada WC 10 3 4 7 0
Junior totals 18 7 7 14 18
Senior totals 10 3 4 7 0

Awards and honours

Award Year
J. Ross Robertson Cup champion 2012, 2013
Wayne Gretzky 99 Award 2013
George Parsons Trophy 2013
NHL All-Star Game 2017
Vancouver Canucks
Pavel Bure Most Exciting Player Award 2016, 2017
Cyrus H. McLean Trophy 2017
Cyclone Taylor Trophy 2017, 2021
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