Team Canada’s bid for their first gold medal at the World Junior Championships since 2009 took a hit today.
The Canucks released a statement that Horvat will not be loaned to Team Canada for the 11 day tournament that begins on Boxing Day.
The news isn’t unexpected. Horvat has been playing a regular shift with the Canucks, seeing 10 minutes of ice time per game. He has become a fixture on the team’s fourth line. His faceoff production (57.4%) is the best on the team.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning had this to say about the decision to keep the 19-year-old Horvat:
He is a solid two-way player, strong in the faceoff circle and displays a maturity beyond his years. We’re very pleased with Bo’s play and look forward to watching him develop as an NHL player.
Given the fact that the Canucks will be in a season-long battle to make the playoffs, they can ill-afford to ice anything less than best lineup.
Playing in the World Juniors would have been good for Horvat, giving him an opportunity to play an important role, against good competition. Horvat played on Canada’s World Junior team last year, that failed to receive a medal.
Featured Image: sportsnet.ca