The Islanders needed a scorer. Now they have one.
Lou Lamoriello made the first big move of the NHL’s trade season late Monday night, acquiring Vancouver’s Bo Horvat for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 draft. Horvat, the Canucks’ now ex-captain who has already scored 31 goals with 23 assists this season, instantly becomes the biggest scoring piece the Islanders have on their roster.
The price Lamoriello paid is a hefty one. Raty, who had just played his 12th NHL game with the club, was considered the organization’s best prospect and is in the first of his three-year entry-level deal. Beauvillier is 25 and still considered a player with potential, though his scoring hadn’t quite been there. And trading away their first-rounder makes it possible that the Islanders will go four seasons without a first-round pick, though the conditions on the pick are not yet known.
The focus now becomes what an extension for Horvat will look like and how he fits onto the roster. The Canucks failed to come to terms on a deal for Horvat, whose contract — currently for $5.5 million AAV — expires at the end of this season. The Islanders will need to do so.
Still more immediate is the impact this will have on the playoff chase. This was the kind of move the Islanders have needed to make for over a year.
Lamoriello has now done it. And the Isles are now primed to make a postseason run.