Monday provided a critical answer if you were one of the many New York Islanders fans wondering if general manager Lou Lamoriello would be buying or selling at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.
The New York Islanders announced they had acquired Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional first-round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The pick is top-12 protected, so if the Islanders find themselves with picks 1-12, the Canucks would get the Islanders 2024 first-round pick.
Horvat, 27, has 31 goals and 23 assists in 49 games with the Canucks this season and is a pending unrestricted free agent. No contract extension information has been shared at this time.
NYI Hockey Now reported in mid-December that the Islanders had reached out to the Canucks regarding Horvat. Clearly, those talks had escalated as the Canucks likely could have been given a much stronger return near the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3.
The former Canucks captain ranks fifth in the NHL in goals, plays on the power play and penalty kill, and has won 56 percent of his face-offs.
Lamoriello and Horvat will hop on a call with the media at 7 PM ET.
For the departing pieces, Anthony Beauvillier had run his course with the Islanders. With nine goals and 11 assists, the 25-year-old wasn’t living up to his $4.15 million cap hit, and a change of scenery seemed to be a need. This last week, Beauvillier had a chance to play with Mathew Barzal, but could not get much done at five-on-five.
For Aatu Räty, the Islanders’ top prospect, he had played in 12 games this season and had shown well. He had two goals to his name but was averaging under nine minutes per game despite playing sound positionally and showcasing a dominant hockey IQ.
Räty was drafted 52nd overall in 2021.
Here is what the Islanders projected could look like:
Simon Holmstrom-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Josh Bailey
Contract extension or not, this seems like a fair trade for both sides. Barzal gets a superstar to play with, while the Islanders rid themselves of a player struggling at a high cap hit.
Given that the Islanders are now going for it, it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone if we see more moves coming from Lamoriello to fill other holes in the lineup.
This story is still ongoing and will be updated as we receive more information.