New Jersey Devils notes: On the Bo Horvat trade and Vitek Vanecek's remarkably strong play
Despite rumored interest, the Devils smartly did not pull the trigger on a Horvat trade. Plus, Vanecek has quietly been the NHL's best goaltender since Christmas.
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A few thoughts in the midst of the 300 day gap between New Jersey Devils games:
On Bo Horvat
First and foremost, I’m glad the Devils weren’t the team to pull the trigger on a Horvat trade.
The price was hardly egregious but the Devils shouldn’t be parting with 1st rounders and prospects near the top of their cupboard for a rental who is at an unsustainably high peak right now (save those assets for another Western Conference player).
Would Horvat have helped the Devils? Absolutely. He could’ve added a nice dimension to the power play and his faceoff prowess would come handy, especially if he skated on a line with Jack Hughes.
At the end of the day, though, his shooting percentage is going to dip – perhaps sooner rather than later – and that would drain a chunk of the value he provides in the here and now.
He is also going to get significantly overpaid on his next contract. It’s good that the Devils won’t be in a position where they’re tempted to be the team to do it.
The landing spot, in my opinion, is a big positive as well.
Either the New York Islanders traded their top prospect – albeit a below average top prospect – and a fourth(!!) consecutive 1st rounder for just a rental in a season they’re unlikely to qualify for the playoffs in or they’re going to buy at an extreme high and pay Horvat, say, $8 million a season for post-peak years when he is likely going to level out as a 50-60 point player.
Horvat does not make the Islanders contenders and, without another 1st and Raty, they plucked another couple assets from their system that could help them get there down the road.
I don’t see the Islanders as a threat in the here and now, I don’t see them as a threat in the next few years while the Devils continue their ascension, and – best of all – Horvat is not going to a top-end team in the Eastern Conference that the Devils might have to deal with in a few months.
On Vanecek’s incredible form
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