Fans of the New York Islanders want to see more out of Bo Horvat this season, and the All-Star captain and former Vancouver Canucks captain knows he has a lot more to show them.
"I definitely think I have more to offer. I was doing a lot of good little things, but at the end of the day I wasn't putting the puck in the net or putting up numbers like I thought I should," said Horvat earlier this week as training camp re-opened."
Horvat was on the league's top goal scorers when the Islanders acquired him from the Canucks on Jan. 30th for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a 2023 1st round pick. He had 31 goals in just 47 games and was selected to the All-Star game where he represented both the Islanders and the Pacific Division. After the trade, he scored just seven goals and nine assists in 30 games.
While conventional wisdom expected a shooting percentage from Horvat after his torrid first half of the season, more was still expected from his offensively. However, after Mathew Barzal and JG Pageau went down, the Islanders ended up using him a lot short-handed and for the bulk of important face-offs, giving Horvat the opportunity to show how he could still help the team win games even as he was going through a scoring drought.
"At the end of the day, we made the playoffs. When we got in, we wanted to do better, but when they brought me in, they weren't in a playoff spot, and by the end of it we were so I feel pretty proud of that and think I still got more to give."
Part of the reason Horvat is optimistic about returning to his early 2022-23 form is that after signing an eight-year contract extension and having the summer on Long Island, he's feeling settled in both personally and professionally. "Being actually to have a training camp under my belt going into the season gonna be a lot better, and last year was kinda hectic, so looking forward to building on that," Horvat said.
"Everyone's excited. We have a lot of really good pieces here and a lot of hood talent and there;s. a tight knit group here where everyone knows what to expect from each other. I'm excited for this year, I think everyone else is too and I can't wait to get going."