Canucks centre Horvat excelling in third season
More than halfway through his third NHL season, Bo Horvat has a pretty good idea of what’s waiting for him after each game.
The Vancouver Canucks centre has a few minutes to decompress before meeting with the media to dissect what just took place, be it good or bad. Then there’s possibly a workout or a meal, but at some point during the familiar routine his cellphone will buzz with a text message.
His father Tim has watched the game — three times zones away when the Canucks are at home — in Rodney, Ont., and is offering a frank assessment.
“He waits up and gives me his opinion,” Horvat said of his dad’s messages, before adding with a smile: “Sometimes you don’t like it. Sometimes you choose not to respond to it.
“But for the most part it’s positive.”
Tim Horvat likely hasn’t been too disappointed this season with the play of his 21-year-old son, who leads the Canucks in scoring with 15 goals and 18 assists through 52 games.
Bo Horvat, who started the campaign as a surprising member of the fourth line, is now a lynchpin for Vancouver. Many viewed Horvat as a checker with some offensive upside when he was selected ninth overall at the 2013 NHL draft — a serviceable player, but not one expected to put up significant points or drive the play. Horvat had other ideas. “I’m not satisfied with being a third-line centre, nor should anybody,” he said. “Everybody should push to be better, everybody should push to want more.
“That’s the biggest thing for me, to prove to myself and prove to everybody else I could do it.”
Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins insists he didn’t his put his expectations for Horvat in a box, but there were times earlier this year when he was only seeing around 15 minutes of action a night.