Less than a week after sending Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a conditional first-round pick to the Vancouver Cancuks for Bo Horvat, the New York Islanders and general manager Lou Lamoriello moved swiftly to extend their new centre.
Horvat signed an eight-year contract on Sunday that carries an annual average value of $8.5 million per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The 27-year-old is in the midst of a career year, scoring 31 goals and 54 points in 49 games with Vancouver — ultimately resulting in an awkward post-trade All-Star situation.
Now set to be with the Islanders until his age-35 season, Horvat will look to deliver on the price paid by his new club over the next eight seasons.
Here are some recent examples of similar deals to the one the former Canucks captain inked on Sunday.
Contract: Seven years, $8M AAV | Age that extension kicks in: 30 (signed in 2022) | Scoring totals in year before signing: 32-67-99 (80 games)
Let’s start with Horvat’s now-former teammate.
Miller extended with Vancouver prior to the start of the 2022-23 season, coming off a career year of his own, however, his deal likely impacted the team’s ability to extend Horvat, who was coming off a 31-goal and 52-point season.
While Miller will be two years older than Horvat when their respective deals kick in, their offensive output is comparable at the time of signing.
If Horvat continues his scoring pace over the Islanders’ final 30 games, he will finish with 50 goals and 87 points — which, thanks to his primary point production, makes him a slightly more prolific point generator than Miller.
The difference in age and time-of-signing production may help explain the extra year and $500,000 that Horvat is receiving from New York.
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks
Contract: Eight years, $8.1375M AAV | Age that extension kicked in: 28 (signed in 2022) | Scoring totals at time of extension: 25-23-48 (59 games)
Hertl may be an even better comparison to Horvat.
They both were in their ninth pro season at the time of extending with free agency on the horizon, and will be the same age when their extensions kick in.
However, the Islanders will hope for better results from Horvat than San Jose has gotten from Hertl so far.
After signing his extension on Mar 16, 2022, Hertl proceeded to score just five goals and 16 points in the team’s final 23 games. This season he has 14 goals in 43 points in 49 games — a 23-goal and 72-point pace — but his team is tied for the least amount of wins in the NHL with 15 and entered its bye week by losing four of its last five.
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
Contract: Eight years, $8.5M AAV | Age that extension kicked in: 29 (signed in 2021) | Scoring totals in year before signing: 24-26-50 (56 games)
After signing Horvat to an identical deal, the Islanders can point to Zibanejad as an ideal outcome for their new centre post-extension.
Since extending the 2011 sixth-overall pick, the Rangers have gotten point-per-game production from Zibanejad with 51 goals and 130 points in 130 games to go along with an Eastern Conference Final appearance last season.
In that post-season run, Zibanejad totalled 10 goals and 24 points in his team’s 20 games.
Similar production — both individually and collectively — from Horvat and the team, would make the extension look like an early win for the Islanders.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Contract: Eight years, $8.5M AAV | Age that extension kicked in: 27 (signed in 2022) | Scoring totals in year before signing: 42-42-84 (64 games)
Forsberg received his extension — also identical to Horvat’s — coming off a career-best season. If you apply his 64-game totals to an 82-game season, you get a near 54-goal and 108-point total.
While Horvat likely won’t finish with 108 points, a 54-goal season is within reach, should he improve his offensive output with a better team.
Back to Forsberg, though, this season, he has returned to playing at the level he set earlier in his career with 41 points in 48 games so far.
While the 11-year Predators forward had more offensive success early in his career than Horvat had with the Canucks, if you isolate the three seasons leading up to their extensions, the offensive output looks a lot more similar.
In the 171 games before his payday last summer, Forsberg had scored 75 goals and 164 points, while in Horvat’s previous 175 games he scored 81 goals and 145 points.
There’s not a huge gap between the two, and while Forsberg has more playoff experience than Horvat, you can see how the Islanders’ newest star played his way into the extension he received on Sunday.