Bo Horvat said he’s ready to be the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks should they ask him to fill the role.
“Yeah, I think so,” Horvat said at the NHL Player Media Tour in Chicago on Thursday. “First of all, it would be an unbelievable honor to wear the C, and to wear any letter for that matter. But even to be in consideration is definitely humbling. But it wouldn’t change who I am.”
The 24-year-old center is entering his sixth NHL season after the Canucks selected him with the No. 9 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. He played 82 games last season and set NHL career highs in goals (27), assists (34) and points (61).
Vancouver did not have a captain last season. Henrik Sedin, who was captain for eight seasons, retired from the NHL following the 2017-18 season
“It wouldn’t change the type of player I want to be,” Horvat said. “I wouldn’t let it affect me that way. I’d just try to be the best leader I can be.”
Vancouver has failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past four seasons. Horvat, who was an alternate captain for the Canucks last season, said he’s hopeful they will have a captain and there are several worthy candidates for the position.
“Obviously, I think it is nice to have a guy to lean on and a guy to go to when times are tough, and even to have somebody to kind of set the tone and for the young guys and even the older guys to follow,” Horvat said. “So I do think it is important. At the same time, there’s no rush for our team or for any team to name one right away. I think it’s up to the [general manager (JIm Benning)] and coaching staff and who they think is the best fit, and we have a lot of guys in our room who can do it.”
Vancouver is among eight NHL teams that do not have a captain (Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights).
Horvat said he admired the way Sedin conducted himself on and off the ice leading the Canucks.
“The last three years, it definitely wasn’t easy standing in front of the media and taking the heat and talking every single day,” said Horvat, who has 222 points (98 goals, 124 assists) in 377 NHL games. “Just watching it, you were like, ‘How do these guys do it?’ I kind of had that responsibility a little bit last year, so I got a little bit of practice at times, which was good for me, I thought, and I’d be ready to take that next step too.”
NHL.com staff writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report