Photo courtesy of metronews.ca
This is the guy the Devils should be going after.
At 6'0", 205 pounds, Bo Horvat presents good size for a center and can play both sides of the puck extremely well. Here is what CBS analyst Chris Peters had to say about his ability:
Among the two-way forwards in the draft, Horvat has a lot to give offensively. One NHL scout said Horvat's stock is rising quickly because of that. He's a strong skater with a good shot and solid distribution skills, but his commitment to playing at both ends is garnering him extra attention.
Horvat had 61 points in 67 games for the Knights last season and was named playoff MVP after scoring the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the OHL Championship.
One of Horvat's key skills is his ability in the face-off circle. He is considered one of the more dominant guys in the circle in the OHL, and the Devils could use someone with that ability considering they finished 24th in faceoff percentage at 48.2 percent.
"You do whatever you can to win that draw. You know what you're up against and their tendencies, to see if they change it up," Horvat told Ryan Pyette of Slam Sports. "I take a lot of pride in my draws and you want to win every single one you can."
Horvat also has the ability to play quality defense, something the Devils always look for in their players. His ability to play both sides of the puck makes him one of the best options for New Jersey on draft day.
"I've been doing the shutdown role all year. It's something I like to do," Horvat said. "We do a really good trap that we work on. We sit back and wait for opportunities. Good defense leads to great offense."
If that quote doesn't sell Horvat for you, I don't know what will. He has the attitude and the means that would make a perfect fit for the Devils, and I think his size would make him a quality center right away.
Kimelman has Horvat going at 10, Hoffner has him at 15, and Morreale has him at 21. It is clear that the scouts and analysts have a different feel for Horvat, but I truly believe this guy can contribute right away in New Jersey.