Bo Horvat and Anthony Beauvillier, the key figures in a Jan. 30 trade between the New York Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks, will face off against their former teams on Thursday in Elmont, N.Y.
The Islanders were off on Wednesday after earning their fourth straight win on Tuesday, a 4-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Kraken in which Horvat scored his first goal with his new team.
The Canucks will be completing a back-to-back road set after falling to the New York Rangers 4-3 on Wednesday night.
The game against familiar faces will cap a frenetic 11-day stretch for Horvat and Beauvillier. The deal sent Horvat to New York in exchange for Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected 2023 first-round pick.
Horvat, who was named one of the Canucks’ representatives to the All-Star Game, was in Florida with his family and played for the Pacific Division in a 6-4 loss to the Central Division on Saturday.
“A little bit in shock and it’s been a big whirlwind for me right now and my family,” Horvat said Jan. 30. The center spent the first eight-plus years of his career with the Canucks, who named him captain in 2019.
Horvat, 27, joined the Islanders on Sunday and signed an eight-year extension worth a reported $68 million immediately after his first practice. He made his Islanders debut Monday, when he joined the top line and played 19:08 in a 2-1 win over the host Philadelphia Flyers.
On Tuesday night, Horvat was serenaded with chants of “HOR-VAT” upon scoring the Islanders’ final goal early in the second period. The four goals were the most amassed by New York since a 6-2 win over the Canucks on Jan. 3 — when Horvat scored both Vancouver goals.
“I think I took a deep breath after that one,” Horvat said. “It definitely felt good.”
Beauvillier was also on vacation when news of the trade broke. He cut the trip short to return to Long Island and pack up his belongings, but he ended up seeing a lot of ex-teammates at the Islanders’ practice facility.
“I thought it was going to be the right thing to do and it ended up being like a three-day goodbye,” Beauvillier told AM NY following the Canucks’ morning skate on Wednesday.
Like Horvat, Beauvillier — who is 25 years old but has 102 goals in 459 NHL games — immediately joined the first line with his new team, though he has yet to collect a point in two games for the retooling Canucks.
Vancouver, which returned from the All-Star break with a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, went 4-11-0 in the final 15 games of the first half. On Jan. 22, the Canucks replaced head coach Bruce Boudreau with Rick Tocchet.
“A lot of nerves,” Beauvillier said, according to Newsday, following the Canucks’ practice on Tuesday. “I’m so happy I got my first game and first couple of practices out of the way. It feels like it was my first practice of my first NHL training camp.”
–Field Level Media