What does Bo Horvat acquisition mean for future beyond 2022-23?

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken
Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Since Lou Lamoriello took over as President and General Manager of the NY Islanders, they have done a good amount of winning. Three consecutive playoff appearances from 2019 until 2021, a run that included two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals/Stanley Cup Semifinals. Since then, though, the Islanders have gone 62-57-15 over the last two seasons, which is pretty average. 

The fanbase has been asking for a goal scorer to be added and Lamoriello finally answered the call. The two-time GM of the Year Award winner acquired center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, and a conditional first-round pick. 

So, what does a trade like this mean for a franchise that’s been stuck between a rock and hard place regarding its future?

Lou makes it clear that the NY Islanders don’t plan to rebuild anytime soon

As we currently sit at the All-Star break, the Islanders find themselves just two points out of a playoff spot with 30 games to go. The teams they’re chasing do have multiple games in hand, but New York is still very much alive in this race. 

Putting that thought aside, the Isles’ ownership and front office still have faith that this team can be successful beyond the 2022-23 season. While nothing has been discussed yet, Lamoriello is hopeful that Bo Horvat, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, will sign a long-term extension. The 27-year-old has already scored 31 goals in 49 games this season as he is right in the midst of his prime. I find it hard to believe that the Isles would give up a 25-year-old in Beauvillier, a 20-year-old in Raty, and draft capital if they didn’t plan to win in the near future. 

There have been swirling rumors, around guys who are aging, as to whether or not they would be traded away at the trading deadline or in this upcoming offseason if the Islanders continued to lose. While for some guys, that may still be the case, Lou has already shown that he isn’t the one who will be selling this year. 

If the Isles can get Horvat locked up long-term, they will have Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Kyle Palmieri, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, Noah Dobson, Alex Romanov, and Horvat all signed through at least 2024-25. 

Nobody knows how Horvat will perform with the blue and orange. Nobody knows if he will want to stay on Long Island and sign an extension. What we do know is this: Lamoriello has every intention to make this a winning franchise while he is still in charge. Even if that means trading away a top prospect in the organization and another first-round draft selection.