If Bo Horvat is still around when the 2013 NHL Draft reaches the middle of the first round, the rationale for selecting him will be simple: Complete, all-around player.
That may not be sexy and does not scream high-end production, but every aspect of his game garners strong praise from prospect watchers.
26: The Hockey News
14: Hockey Prospectus (Pronman)
15 (NA): Central Scouting
The left-shooting center's rankings range pretty widely and suggest he might not be there at 15 when the Islanders draft, but if he is he'd be a nice candidate to take. Among the reviews:
...one of the most complete forwards in this draft. He is tough, hard working, and defensively skilled, with enough offensive ability to project as a scoring line player. He was a top player for one of the best teams in the CHL. He is a good skater, with a technically sound stride, as he picks up speed quickly and easily. He is a strong, physical center who will lay the body, displaying the two-way work ethic NHL teams want to see. He is an aware penalty killer, good at faceoffs, and overall projects as a center who will start his shift in the defensive zone more often than not. His creativity progressed throughout this season, and his puck skills, hand-eye coordination, and playmaking vision all rank as above average; he can flash high-end offensive skill. It is difficult to find a weakness in his game.
A player who can play in any situation, on any line, at any position and will be productive in whatever role he is asked to play. Very smart and adaptable and whatever situation he's playing in, he understands what is required and can carry out those requirements. A very good skater with good quickness, agility and balance. He is a player who 'shows up' at the most critical times with key plays that help the team win.
"He's a great competitor. He does everything you like to see. His penalty killing is very good, blocking shots. He's effective every shift and he's one of the best faceoff guys in the whole draft."
Trent Klatt, Islanders Player Development:
Bo Horvat is a two–way player that has a very high level of hockey sense. He really understands the game well intellectually. Horvat gives his team responsible minutes and plays all over the ice.
Horvat is only listed at 6'0, so you could wonder whether he has the physical stature to be as complete of a center at the next level. But the Islanders like centers, so much so that they are starting to stockpile them and look at who might move to wing.
Could Horvat be in the cards on Sunday?