With the Vancouver Canucks losing Nikita Tryamkin to the KHL today, GM Jim Benning met with media to discuss several topics. One of those was the upcoming negotiations with Bo Horvat on a new deal that would keep him in Vancouver long-term. Benning said that they’ve been in contact with Horvat’s camp and will meet “in the next little while” to start hammering out what his next contract will look like. He didn’t seem at all worried about it getting done, and said that there would be no deadline placed on it and could even take “all summer”.
Horvat’s next deal has long been a focus of the front office, and after another step forward in his development this year he looks in prime position to be awarded a long-term deal. With 20 goals and 52 points, the 22-year old center has shown that he is the future in Vancouver and the key piece for Benning and the rest of the front office to build around. In January, Ben Kuzma of the Province suggested that Vincent Trocheck’s six-year, $28.5MM extension would be a nice comparable, but with Horvat finding even more consistency through his first three years he may eclipse that.
The Vancouver Center doesn’t have quite the lofty statistics that Sean Monahan had when he inked his seven-year, $44.63MM deal last summer, and may find himself land somewhere in between. Depending on how many years of free agency he gives up, his deal could break $5MM per season, making him the fourth highest paid player on the Canucks, behind only the Sedins and Loui Eriksson. For a player that must reach his potential if the Canucks are to make their rebuild successful, Horvat’s contract negotiations will be the most interesting story of the summer for Vancouver fans—that is, other than the entry draft and the chance to pair Horvat with one of Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier down the middle for the next decade.