Bo Horvat conquered the Grouse Grind on Wednesday morning. His next challenge will be much higher: making the Canucks’ roster in the fall and playing in the NHL as an 18-year-old. But Horvat, the player the Canucks took with the ninth overall pick they acquired in the surprise Cory Schneider trade at last month’s draft, doesn’t lack confidence that he can handle the huge jump. “I feel I’m ready,” Horvat said Wednesday afternoon as he and several others in town for the Canucks’ prospect camp paid a visit to BC Children’s Hospital after the Grouse Mountain ordeal earlier. “There’s always things I have to work on and can get better at. I want to go out there — in this camp and the main camp — and prove that I can stay up this year.” First-round picks — especially in a banner draft year such as 2013 — are the usual suspects to stick in their first NHL camp, but Horvat’s game definitely gives him a leg up. He’s the rare junior hockey player who can score, but also plays an impeccable 200-foot game. The left-shot centre, who somehow looks bigger than his 6-foot, 210-pound frame, craves the important minutes and projects as a Ryan Kesler type. The question is: could he learn on the job at the third-line centre spot in the near term? With Canucks GM Mike Gillis saying the team needs to get younger next season, Horvat sees and wants to take advantage of the opportunity. “It’s great to hear,” he said. “I know a lot of teams in the NHL are going younger now, so to hear that this organization is starting to go young, it makes me want to work that much harder to prove to myself that I can be in the lineup.” Horvat did just about everything for London except drive the Zamboni between periods. He scored a Game 7 goal with 0.1 seconds remaining to win the OHL title and was named playoff MVP for his two-way play and scoring output (16-7-23).
Horvat out to prove he belongs with Canucks
Vancouver Province | Jul 11