The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Have Paid for Bo Horvat

One of the biggest trade pieces has come off the board, and the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t even appear to be in the hunt.

The Toronto Maple Leafs loss was the New York Islanders gain.

The Islanders, led by ex-Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello snagged Bo Horvat, arguably the biggest fish in the market this season.

Horvat was a player often speculated as someone the Leafs would be interested in acquiring. I think they should have done it.

Toronto Maple Leafs Miss Out on Bo Horvat

The transaction is an indication that the Vancouver Canucks have initiated a process of dismantling their current roster and embarking upon a reconstruction effort. It’s a wise move for the franchise as it appears that they are destined to fail to qualify for the post-season after recently replacing their coach.

The Islanders should be thrilled with the fire power they acquired, especially at the price they paid. Beauvillier is a 25-year-old left-winger who averaging 15 minutes and 47 seconds of ice time per game. His best NHL season was 2019-20, when in 68 games, he scored 18 goals and
21 assists.

Raty is playing in his first NHL season after being drafted by the Islanders in 2021 in the second-round, 52nd overall. So far, he has played in 12 games and recorded a pair of goals. Neither of these players moved the needle for Canucks, which means they were mostly on the hunt for a first round pick.

The Maple Leafs could have given Vancouver that. Their cupboards are full. The organization still has their first-round picks for the next three drafts. It would have been easy to part with one of them. What might be more difficult is choosing which players and/or prospects to give up.

The prized possession of the Maple Leafs is Matthew Knies. He appears to be the future of the team. Perhaps general manager Kyle Dubas would have wanted to hold onto him but there are other players in the organization with higher ceilings than both Beauvillier and Raty.

The Maple Leafs would likely consider using any of the following active players as part of a package: Justin Holl, Conor Timmins, Rasmus Sandin, Alex Kerfoot, Wayne Simmonds, Pontus Holmberg, Joey Anderson, and Zach Aston-Reese. While the forwards in this group wouldn’t excite Allvin, the defensemen would.

Apart from Knies and their goaltender Joseph Woll, Dubas would likely have been willing to move any of the organization’s prospects. That includes Rodion Amirov, Ty Voit, Minten Fraser, Alex Steeves, Braeden Kressler, Mikhail Abramov, and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev. There’s a lot of potential in that group, likely enough to have had the Canucks re-think the Islanders offer.

This was not a good look for Dubas. He had the means to acquire one of the NHL’s top goal scorers. He just needed to pick up the phone.

Horvat would have made a very nice addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs, making them even more dangerous than they already are. It’s too bad that he’s headed to Long Island and not Toronto.