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Not too shabby for a late insertion. Nineteen-year-old Bo Horvat drew into the Vancouvver Canucks lineup for his seventh game on Thursday night and scored his first National Hockey League goal, burying a wrist shot off the rush in the second period.
That might have bought the London Knights star a few more days in the NHL, even though Horvat is "not trending" toward being green-lighted for a full season in The Show. Still, nice goal.
It's understandable that the Canucks might try to stretch out Horvat's stint as long as possible before returning him to the Knights, where he would be leaving on Dec. 11 to join Team Canada's final selection camp. Ultimately, it looks like Horvat would be hard-pressed to bump out Linden Vey as a fourth-line centre.
From Iain MacIntyre:
The Canucks may have to choose between Vey and Horvat as their fourth-line centre.
When general manager Jim Benning acquired Vey in June, the obvious lineup question was where that trade would leave Horvat. The answer could be back in the Ontario League after the Christmas-time world junior tournament.
With Horvat limited to nine NHL games before the Canucks must decide to keep him or return him to the London Knights, it’s difficult to see, pending injuries, how coach Willie Desjardins and Benning could justify keeping the teenager in the NHL when there is little guarantee of him getting the minutes he requires at this embryonic stage of his professional career.
Desjardins indicated the choice isn’t as simple as Vey or Horvat, although it appears the middle of the fourth line is the logical landing spot for each player when the Canucks are healthy.
Vey would require waivers to be sent to the minors, so he probably isn’t going anywhere. (Vancouver Sun)
Desjardins has a rapport with Hockey Canada, having coached the national junior team to a silver in 2010. Moreover, Horvat's ice time has declined in recent games and that was his first point, let alone goal, in a dozen AHL and NHL games this fall. The circumstances could change, but the arrow seems to be pointing at London.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.