The rebuild of the Vancouver Canucks has begun, with centre Bo Horvat heading to the New York Islanders.
The Canucks announced Monday that their captain is heading east in exchange for forwards Anthony Beauvillier and Aatu Raty and a protected 2023 first-round draft pick.
Horvat is having an excellent 2022-23 campaign. He has tied his career high with 31 goals and has added 23 assists in 49 games. Horvat was set to represent the Canucks at the upcoming NHL all-star weekend in Sunrise, Fla.
However, he was the first domino to fall on a Canucks roster that will likely undergo more changes with the team in the midst of a disappointing season.
“First of all, we would like to thank Bo Horvat for all that he has done for the Vancouver Canucks during his nine seasons in Vancouver,” Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said in a statement. “He has been a great leader and ambassador for our hockey club.
“As difficult as it is to trade away our captain, we are excited to add a high-quality 25-year-old winger in Anthony Beauvillier, a young centre in Aatu Raty, and a protected first-round draft pick. These pieces will be a big part of our development and growth moving forward.”
Horvat was selected ninth overall by the Canucks in the 2013 NHL draft.
He has 201 goals and 219 assists in 621 career NHL games with the Canucks.
Horvat was named the Canucks’s captain before the 2019-20 season. He had been one of four alternate captains the season before who filled the void left by Henrik Sedin’s retirement in 2018.
The trading of Vancouver’s captain comes eight days after head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired and replaced with Rick Tocchet.
The Canucks enter the NHL all-star break in sixth place in the Pacific Division with a 20-26-3 record.
Horvat will join an Islanders team in the midst of a dogfight for a playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders sit fourth in the conference’s wild-card standings, two points behind second-place Pittsburgh, with a 25-22-5 record.
Beauvillier, selected by the Islanders in the first round (28th overall) in the 2015 draft, has nine goals and 11 assists in 49 games this season.
He has 102 goals and 107 assists in 457 career games.
Raty, picked by New York in the second round (52nd overall) in 2021, has two goals in 12 games with the Islanders. He also has seven goals and eight assists in 27 games with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Islanders.