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Bo Horvat to the Islanders!

It’s the biggest trade of the NHL season so far.

After weeks of speculation, the Canucks finally traded away their captain on Monday. In return for sending Bo Horvat to the Islanders, they’ll receive Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected first round pick. What does the trade mean for each team? We’ll break it down quickly.  

To the Islanders

At 27 years old and in the midst of his best NHL season, Horvat is just what the Islanders need in their roster. The All-Star centreman has 31 goals and 23 assists this season and his presence will certainly help the scoring in New York, something that has been a large issue recently. He’ll play on the first line powerplay and get top minutes, but he won’t just be making a difference in the offensive zone. Horvat’s two-way game was a factor in this trade too. With New York’s defensive style, they need guys who can play both ends of the ice.

For this trade to work out for the Islanders, they’ll need to extend Horvat’s contract and the easiest way to convince a player to stay with your team is to win games. Currently, the Isles are 2 points out of a Wild Card spot in a loaded Eastern Conference. This trade clearly shows the team is looking to make it in, but they may need more than Horvat to turn into a future contender. Regardless of their finish though, New York is taking some risk in this acquisition. If Horvat decides to walk in the offseason, the trade can only be looked at as a complete failure barring some miraculous playoff run.

To the Canucks

In return for their captain, the Canucks received Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected first round pick. Of the two players, Beauvillier is the only NHL regular at this point and has played in more than 450 career games despite being just 25 years old. The former first round pick isn’t expected to fill Horvat’s shoes offensively, but playing alongside some of Vancouver’s talented forwards may help him blossom. Beauvillier currently makes $4.1M per year, so there is also chance that Vancouver flips him in another trade to make more room under the salary cap.  

Aatu Raty is a 20 year old from Finland with 12 NHL games under his belt this season. Although his big league experience isn’t there yet, Raty has looked alright in the AHL with Bridgeport and was a big piece of Finland’s 2022 World Junior team, scoring ten points in seven games. Unfortunately for Vancouver fans, there is certainly a possibility that Raty will never develop into a full-time NHL player. As for the draft pick, there is a lottery protection in place. This means that if the Islanders get a top 12 pick in the 2023 Draft, the pick moves to 2024. There’s obviously no guarantees with prospects and picks, but to win this trade, this portion of the return will have to work in Vancouver’s favour.

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