Will Canucks fans cheer on Bo Horvat during the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Or maybe they’ll pull for another former Canucks player.
He’s far from the only ex-Canucks player participating this year, after all.
Here are 13 former Canucks who are taking part in the 2023 playoffs.
1. Bo Horvat, New York Islanders
For a moment, it looked like Bo Horvat’s chirp to Vancouver might have been a jinx to his team’s playoff hopes.
However, after the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered an embarrassing 5-2 loss at the hands of the lowly Chicago Blackhawks, Horvat and the Islanders were able to clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Horvat’s offence has dropped with the Islanders (seven goals, 16 points in 30 games) but he led all New York forwards in ice time since joining the team.
2. Jared McCann, Seattle Kraken
It may surprise you to know that another former Canuck, Jared McCann, actually scored more goals than Horvat this season.
Despite Horvat scoring 31 times in 49 games with the Canucks before being traded to the Islanders, it was actually the 26-year-old McCann, who finished with 40 goals compared to Horvat’s 38 tallies.
McCann led all Seattle Kraken forwards in goals and points (70) this season. On a team lacking elite talent, the Canucks’ former first-round pick is arguably the Kraken’s biggest star.
3. Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs
Physical, stay-at-home defenceman Luke Schenn is now back with the NHL team that drafted him, after the Canucks traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to this year’s trade deadline.
Schenn has largely been paired with North Vancouver native Morgan Rielly through 14 games with the Leafs so far.
4. Alexander Edler, Los Angeles Kings
The longest-tenured defenceman in Canucks history is going to the playoffs for the second year in a row with the Los Angeles Kings.
Edler is listed as the 14th oldest skater to log NHL games this season. His 37th birthday will take place during the first round of the playoffs on April 21.
5. Zack MacEwen, Los Angeles Kings
Tough guy Zack MacEwen was once a feel-good, underdog story for the Canucks. Since then, he’s managed to hold down an NHL role, and was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Kings at this year’s trade deadline.
6. Tyler Motte, New York Rangers
Tyler Motte is back with the New York Rangers. After being traded to the Rangers by the Canucks at last year’s deadline, the winger signed with the Ottawa Senators during the offseason. He was then reacquired by the Rangers at this year’s deadline.
When Motte’s in the lineup, he’s been effective. He currently has five goals and 10 points in 23 games with the Rangers this season. Not bad for a player logging fourth-line minutes.
7. Jaroslav Halak, New York Rangers
While there is Canucks representation on the majority of playoff teams, only the Kings and the Rangers have more than one former Canuck on their respective rosters.
Barring injury, goaltender Jaroslav Halak probably won’t see much action since he’s the back-up to high-end starting netminder, Igor Shesterkin. The Slovak native will celebrate his 38th birthday during the NHL playoffs if the Rangers go on another run like they did last year.
8. Nate Schmidt, Winnipeg Jets
Nate Schmidt reportedly needed to be convinced to waive his no-trade clause to join the Winnipeg Jets. Now, he’s back in the postseason for the first time since his days with the Vegas Golden Knights, the same team he’ll play in Round 1.
He’s been relegated to more of a third-pairing role with the Jets, with his average of 18:28 per game being the lowest of his career since he was a member of the Washington Capitals six seasons ago.
9. Ben Hutton, Vegas Golden Knights
A forgotten member of a forgettable era of Canucks hockey, defenceman Ben Hutton has managed to carve out a depth role for the Vegas Golden Knights.
He’s played 30 games with the Golden Knights this season, registering three goals and eight points in the process.
10. Gustav Forsling, Florida Panthers
Gustav Forsling never played a game for the Canucks, or even signed a contract. However, he’s blossomed into a star since being drafted in the fifth round by the Canucks back in 2014.
Forsling is a rock on Florida’s blueline, and he actually outscored Aaron Ekblad this season after posting 41 points in 81 games.
11. Jalen Chatfield, Carolina Hurricanes
Jalen Chatfield was once a depth defenceman for the Canucks who was essentially cast away by the organization. Now, he’s carved out a role as an everyday defenceman for one of the best defensive teams in the NHL.
Chatfield played in 77 of Carolina’s 82 games this season, registering six goals and 14 points in the process.
12. Brad Hunt, Colorado Avalanche
Maple Ridge native Brad Hunt began the season down in the AHL. However, after a strong performance in the minors, Hunt was recalled to the Colorado Avalanche.
He’s spent most of the season in the NHL, played 45 games with the Avalanche so far this season.
13. Curtis Lazar, New Jersey Devils
A trade deadline-day deal sent Salmon Arm, BC native Curtis Lazar to the New Jersey Devils last month. He has only played in three games since the trade for a loaded Devils squad.
Other former Canucks with a shot at the Cup
Here are six former Canucks who’ve played NHL games this season, and could get their name on the Cup if injuries hit their respective teams:
- Jayson Megna, Colorado Avalanche
- Nic Petan, Minnesota Wild
- Joseph Cramarossa, Minnesota Wild
- William Lockwood, New York Rangers
- Jordie Benn, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Zac Dalpe, Florida Panthers
A seventh former Canuck has hit the threshold of playing 41 regular season games (or one Stanley Cup Finals game) in order to get his name on the Cup. That is Sam Gagner of the Winnipeg Jets, who is currently listed as out for the season with a hip injury.
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