The NY Islanders made possibly the biggest splash in a long time for this franchise at the deadline when they acquired Bo Horvat. The price was Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a 2023 first-round pick that would be sent to the Vancouver Canucks right before the all-star break. At this point, it's safe to say that Horvat is better for the Islanders now than any of those three pieces, but he still needs to be more productive.
New York fans have a short memory, especially when it involves the lack of scoring from the offense. Horvat was brought in to be a first-line player to pair next to Mat Barzal, and it seemed like it was working out when he scored three goals and four points in his first four games with the blue and orange. However, after Barzal sustained an injury that would keep him out for the rest of the season, Horvat began to struggle. He finished 12 points in the remaining 26 games and only scored two points in the Islanders' opening-round series against Carolina, one of which being a late goal in a 5-2 game four loss.
"I think I'm doing a lot of good things away from the puck ... but at the end of the day I gotta find ways to score big goals and get on the scoresheet. Not in a 5-1 game, 5-2 games, I gotta find ways to make it meaningful."- Bo Horvat after game four
*Read our previously Published player report cards:
-Sebastian Aho | Josh Bailey | Mathew Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck |Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom
NY Islanders 2022-23 Player report card: Bo Horvat
Horvat is right in every way. He does do a lot of great things away from the puck, such as winning faceoffs, killing penalties, playing responsibly in the neutral zone, and fitting into the Islanders' system in general, but he needs to find ways to hit the net more. He did quite well with Vancouver before making his way to Long Island, scoring 31 goals and 54 points, which led the team the moment he was acquired. This led to him being signed to an eight-year extension making 8.5 million per year. Horvat finished the season with 38 goals and 70 points in 79 games.
"I would have liked to score more goals for us, and I definitely hold myself to a high standard and hold myself accountable... When the goals dried up, it was frustrating, but again, it's just something that I think is gonna make me better in the long run mentally and as a player."- Bo Horvat
It's hard to pin it all on Horvat, considering the entire offense of the Islanders lacks skill and any sort of speed, which shows when the second-worst power play in the league has to come onto the ice only to further frustrate fans. Horvat always played in the bumper position on Vancouver and is great at redirecting pucks. There's nothing wrong with that, but when the Islanders staff moved him into the one-timer position things went even more south than before.
The skill, work ethic, leadership, accountability, and two-way game is all there for the former 9th overall pick in 2013. It doesn't seem like fans have turned on him completely yet, Lou Lamoriello takes most of the heat for the Islanders' troubles. What may hurt fans more is that Beauvillier started to produce at a higher rate for the Canucks, even though there is no universe where he score that much on a defensive team like the Islanders. Nevertheless, the Islanders need to somehow get more out of him to justify his lengthy extension. Horvat deserves plenty of chances at redemption, but is still in some hot water, earning a B- for the beginning of his Islanders' tenure.