Bo Horvat is the captain of the Vancouver Canucks and has been a key player for the team since his debut seven seasons ago. He provided the Canucks with another solid season in 2020-21, playing a pivotal role at both ends of the ice.
Horvat’s Offensive Play
Horvat scored 19 goals and dished out 20 assists for 39 points in 56 games played. He ranked second on the team in goals. His assist and point totals both ranked fourth on the team. Last season was the third time in his seven-year career that he notched fewer than 20 goals, the last time being in his sophomore season (2015-16). However, last season had a reduced schedule, and he was one of many Canucks players to get sick with COVID-19 during the team’s COVID outbreak in April.
Due to these factors, it’s not shocking that Horvat scored fewer than 20 goals. His 0.339 goals per game pace is the second-highest he’s ever scored at (his 2017-18 campaign was slightly higher). Overall, he posted 0.696 points per game (P/G), which is his fourth-best season in this regard, however, he produced at a higher P/G in each of the three seasons before 2020-21.
Horvat’s P/G and assists per game both ranked fifth on the Canucks among players who played in more than one game. His goals per game ranked third on the club behind only Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. Horvat consistently produced no matter what the situation was. He finished tied for second on the team in even-strength points and ranked fourth in power-play points.
Horvat’s Offensive Grade: B+
Horvat’s 2020-21 offensive grade is a “B+.” As always, he was one of Vancouver’s key contributors, but his overall production (P/G) was down compared to the previous three seasons. However, dealing with COVID may have impacted his ability to produce at the rates he typically does.
Horvat’s Defensive Play
Horvat is known for his two-way prowess and once again played well within the defensive zone. He was one of the team’s more physical players, as he threw 64 hits and blocked 38 shots. His 64 hits ranked sixth on Vancouver and fifth among forwards. His 38 shot blocks were good for the seventh-highest total on the club but were the most amongst the Canucks’ forward corps. His 648 faceoff wins were far-and-away, the best total on the team (J.T. Miller won the second most draws with 279).
Furthermore, Horvat had a takeaway-to-giveaway ratio of 25-22, meaning he stole the puck more often than he coughed it up. The Canucks were better at suppressing shots when he was on the ice but gave up slightly more scoring opportunities. Here’s a chart highlighting how he had a positive impact on the club in regards to shots (SF%), but a slightly negative impact in both scoring chances (SCF%) and high-danger scoring chances (HDCF%).
|Statistic (at five-on-five)||Horvat||Vancouver Canucks|
Overall, the team’s SF% was nearly two percent higher, with Horvat on the ice. On the other hand, the team was a tiny bit worse in SCF% and HDCF% with him playing. However, he rarely started in the offensive zone, as his offensive zone faceoff percentage was a mere 39.68%. Considering he started much more frequently in the defensive or neutral zone than in the offensive zone (60.32% of his starts were outside the offensive zone), it’s impressive that his SF% is noticeably better than the team’s average while his SCF% and HDCF% is similar.
Defensive Grade: A
This gives him a defensive grade of an “A.” He was relied upon to start in his own zone, was a top contributor in hits and blocks, and was the team’s best forward at faceoffs. The only knock against his defensive play is that Vancouver performed slightly worse regarding HDCF% and SCF%, but this isn’t surprising considering he rarely started in the offensive zone.
Overall Grade: A-
Combined, his defensive and offensive performances earn him an overall grade of an “A-.” Although his P/G was down from the previous three seasons, he was still a key contributor for the team offensively, despite being heavily relied upon defensively.
I am a lifelong hockey fan who will be covering the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks here at The Hockey Writers. Before joining The Hockey Writers I spent two years blogging about hockey.
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