Oilers’ star Connor McDavid: New Islander Bo Horvat can ‘do it all’

SUNRISE, Fla. — Connor McDavid has spent his career working with Bo Horvat in the Pacific Division. So the Oilers star, universally hailed as the NHL’s best, knows what the Islanders are all about, with the betting market reacting to the Islanders’ trade of Bo Horvat, who made his new move to Philadelphia on Monday. The Canucks will make their debut with the team this past week.

“He’s going to be somebody who brings it every night,” McDavid said. “Someone who can play on both ends of the rink. He’s obviously going to have a career year scoring goals. Defensively, he’s solid. He’s very good at shooting. Obviously, his face-off. The numbers speak for themselves. They are like getting someone who can do it all.

It likely won’t be clear where Horvat will go in the Islanders’ lineup until they hit the pregame rush on Monday. But the educated guess is that he will go head-to-head with Mathieu Bruzel on the top line, although who will step up to play the wing is an open question.

Horvat’s 31 goals this season already matches his career high. With his shooting percentage at an unsustainable 21.7 percent, it’s unlikely he’ll hit the 50-goal pace beyond this season if he stays with the Islanders. But they are getting a player capable of scoring at least 30 times a year – something they badly needed to add to their lineup.

Colorado Avalanche Central Division forward Cal Makar (8) drives the puck against New York Islanders Pacific Division forward Bo Horvat (14) during the first period of the semifinal game during the 2023 NHL All-Star Game at FLA Live Arena. Arriving for  .
Bo Horvat Two Islanders send one of the NHL’s best scorers to Long Island.
Jasen Vinlove-USA Today

“I think his confidence is there,” McDavid said. “He got off to a real good start, which helps a lot of different things. Obviously, confidence. He feels good about himself, I think he feels good about his game. It just shows from there.”

Horvat skated with McDavid and the rest of the Pacific Division All-Stars on Saturday, though he wore an Islanders jersey in Friday night’s skills competition.

“We talked about it,” said Patterson, Horvat’s former teammate with the Canucks. “No matter what, make sure we score together.”

Horvat will now focus on getting acclimated with the Islanders, who will practice Sunday before traveling to Philadelphia.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers competes in the #97 Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting during the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at FLA Live Arena on February 03, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida.
McDavid praised his former teammate Bo Horvat, now his former Pacific Division rival, for his play.
Mike Erman/Getty Images

“[All-Star] It was great, but at the same time, I wanted to move on,” Horvat said. “It’s enough. Let’s start playing some games and get to know the boys. I just want to start playing hockey again.

He at least got a chance to meet Brock Nelson and Ilya Sorokin, his new Islanders teammates and fellow All-Stars, this weekend.

“He’s going to bring a huge factor to our team up front, depth, scoring,” Nelson said. “He does a little bit of everything. Hits, power play, five-on-five. So he’s going to be a huge part of our team. It’s a big move for us, a big move for Lue. [Lamoriello] Trying to move things along.”

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