The Vancouver Canucks understood that the contract negotiations for their new face of the franchise were going to take some time, but I'm sure there were a few fans and people in the organization that may have been white-knuckling through the days that Bo Horvat didn't have a deal in place. Well, on Friday, the relief came, when it was announced that Horvat and the Canucks agreed upon a 6-year, $33 million deal.
Last season, the 22-year old led the Canucks in scoring, finishing the year with 20 goals and 52 points, playing in 81 games, ranking him 107th overall in pool scoring, 81st among all forwards.
Currently, his career numbers have been trending upwards and they should continue to do so, but with a number of new faces and some uncertainty about how the Canucks lineup will eventually pan out, I would hesitate to bump him up too far. Horvat was mainly paired with Sven Baertschi last season and he also spent a good portion of time with Brock Boeser at the end of the season, both of whom will be back in a Canucks uniform this season, so they may try to piggy back on some already generated chemistry.
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Like a number of these late summer restricted free agent signings, numbers were already adjusted for the eventual signing of these players, so there won't be a huge number of adjustments to these numbers. Horvat goes back to the top of the list, while Michael Chaput was the guy that fell off the projected roster in my notes, just for those wondering. It will definitely be interesting to see who lines up with the twins and the third line will likely be highlighted by Brandon Sutter and there will be plenty to choose from for linemates for him as well.
Well, the Canucks appear to have a pretty filled up roster and some reasonable depth, heading into training camp and my current iteration of their projected 23-man roster still gives them $2.3 million in unused cap space to start the season. The new deal for Horvat gives the Canucks all sorts of cap flexibility for the seasons beyond 2018, especially with the Sedin twins heading for unrestricted free agency next season.