Horvat a draft day wildcard

Chris Messina2013 Draft Center, Features

Bo Horvat is one of the more interesting prospects available in this year’s draft.

He’s not in the conversation with Jones, Drouin and MacKinnon. He’s rarely even mentioned in that next tier of players with the likes of Barkov, Nichushkin, Lindon, Nurse and Monahan,

But some think that he could creep into the top 10.

For anybody that has seen him play, he might not be the quickest of foot or have the hands of a 50 goal scorer but the two-time OHL Champion is one of those guys that you want to have on your team because he plays the game the right way. That is probably why 25 teams spoke to him at the combines last month.

Why wouldn’t teams be interested? He’s versatile, he can play center or the wing and is good at both ends of the ice. He’s got the size to play in the National Hockey League sooner rather than later and he’s been a part of an organization with the London Knights that has developed many players over the last decade.

Names like Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, David Bolland, Marc Methot, Gregory Campbell, Rick Nash and Dan Girardi have all played for coach Dale Hunter and have all gone on to carve out careers in the NHL.

Just being a part of that organization can give players experiences that will help them at the next level. This past season he was part of a team that nearly set a Canadian Hockey League record with 24 straight wins. Then to cap it all off in game 7 of the OHL Final against the Barrie Colts he jumps on a loose puck in front of the next with 0.1 seconds left in regulation time and puts home a puck that seals his team’s victory and sends them to a second straight Memorial Cup.

“It’s unbelievable. You dream about those goals as a little kid. It still really hasn’t even kicked in. It all happened so fast and I thought for sure it was in but I wasn’t quite sure. When I saw the puck go in, I definitely thought it was. The suspense and waiting for it and all that, it made it that much worse. It was an unbelievable experience, for sure.”

Horvat, like the rest of us has no clue what will happen on draft day.

“I actually have no clue what’s going to be happening. I really haven’t sat down with my agent and asked what’s going to happen. I’m not really quite sure where I’m going to go or how it’s going to go or anything like that. I’m just really looking forward to going and getting the experience out of it and seeing where I go.”

Some predict he could be a top-10 pick but he’s more than likely going to be picked a little later than that. Having stated that all it takes is one team to like a player more than anybody else on the board and they can jump.

Like the rest of the hockey world, he’s going to wait and see.