The Vancouver Canucks have signed forward Bo Horvat to a six-year contract worth $33 million, which works out to an average annual value of $5.5 million.
The team announced the deal on Friday.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to continue my career for six more seasons in Vancouver and I’m grateful to the Aquilini family and Canucks management group for making this possible,” Horvat said. “Since being drafted by the Canucks, I have been welcomed by fans with open arms and I’m incredibly proud and fortunate to call this city and province home. I couldn’t be more excited to help this team win.”
The restricted free agent is a critical piece of Vancouver’s future, especially as the franchise eyeballs the post-Sedin era, and locking him in is essential.
Horvat led the Canucks with 20 goals and 52 points last season, marking the first time since 2005-2006 that a Sedin twin wasn’t atop the leaderboard. Horvat was also named to the 2017 All-Star Game and averaged 18:01 of ice time a game.
The 22-year-old was drafted ninth overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and has spent 231 regular season games in a Canucks sweater. He has 117 career points thus far, with 49 goals and 68 assists. Horvat has 22 points on the power play.
In six playoff games, he has a goal and three assists.
The London native is a stellar two-way forward with quality faceoff skills. He’s a centre with grit, but the Canucks would like to see even more upside to his offensive prowess. He’ll have a chance to solidify that part of his game over the next six years in Vancouver and could very well blossom into the franchise player the club wants him to be.
“Bo has quickly become a foundational player on our team and we’re thrilled for him to be a part of what we’re building here long term,” general manager Jim Benning said. “His commitment and work ethic have helped his game improve each season. He’s already a leader on our team and a young player fans can be excited to watch for years to come.”