NHL Rumours: Another New Deal Sets Bar for Bo Horvat Extension

Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks

On Tuesday morning, the Dallas Stars extended forward Roope Hintz with a massive $67.6 million deal. That contract runs for eight seasons, expiring after 2030-31, with an $8.45 million cap hit annually. A big move for the Stars, sure, but perhaps just as impactful elsewhere. Other comparable players and their agents will certainly utilize Hintz as a benchmark in their own negotiations. And perhaps the most obvious of those scenarios is Vancouver Canucks centre Bo Horvat and his extension talks.

Roope Hintz Becomes Comparable for Bo Horvat Extension

In 261 career games, Hintz collected 194 points, equating to a 0.743 points-per-game rate. In his most recent three years, Hintz has 139 points in just 143 games. He scores at essentially a point-per-game pace now, including 24 points through the first 22 contests of the 2022-23 season.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, Bo Horvat owns a career statline of 390 points in 594 games. That comes out to a 0.656 points-per-game rate, a bit less than Hintz’ career figure. Shrink down to just the past three years, and that rate jumps up to 0.777 points-per-game, still a far cry from Hintz. But, where the two strike even is this season: Horvat also has exactly 24 points through his first 22 contests.

One season certainly doesn’t set a player’s value. But, Horvat certainly looks set to do as much as he possibly can this year to earn his next deal. With 24 points, both Hintz and Horvat fall inside the top 30 league-wide in scoring thus far. Horvat sets himself apart, though, in the goal-scoring category. With 17 goals already, he sits in a tie for second in the entire NHL, dead even with Connor McDavid and two shy of the league lead. Sitting atop the league in any category sure would help add extra money to extension talks for Horvat.

How Hintz and Horvat Compare

The comparisons above purely based on scoring rates starts the discussion, but it ends much deeper than that. Both forwards have big bodies, weighing in at 210-215 pounds. Year-after-year, Hintz developed his advanced metrics since arriving in the NHL. He recorded a solid 4.8% relative Corsi-for in his rookie season. Now in year five, that number boomed to 13.5%. Horvat, just one year older than Hintz, is already in his ninth NHL season. He, too, has experienced massive improvements in advanced numbers. As a 19-year-old, he unsurprisingly recorded some rough numbers to start his career out at a -7.9% relative Corsi-for. For five straight years, that number has sat a minimum of 16.3% better than his rookie season. To-date this year, he’s at 9.1%.

Sure, Hintz looks somewhere between marginally and significantly stronger across every category. His scoring clip year-after-year exceeds Horvat’s, as do his advanced statistics. But, despite being roughly the same age, Horvat already has four more NHL seasons under his belt, and an extra 333 games played. That experience is worth something, especially since he logs significantly more icetime than Hintz too. If his 17-goal explosion to this season is any sign of things to come, he could be on the precipice of a huge step forward. He averaged just over 24 goals per year before this season, and netted a career-high 31 last season. This year should be a new career-high in goals, for sure.

Even if Hintz isn’t identical in every way, his deal at least anchors expectations for the Horvat extension. He and his agent can utilize Hintz’ numbers to their advantage. That is especially true the more Horvat produces this season.

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