With the 12th pick in the 2013 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, the Phoenix Coyotes select Bo Horvat, forward from the London Knights.
The draft thus far in order: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones, Aleksander Barkov, Valeri Nichushkin, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Darnell Nurse, Hunter Shinkaruk, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Mirco Mueller.
The Coyotes enter the draft in desperate need for forward help. After the hope that one of the top seven forwards would drop was extinguished, the focus shifted to the next tier. We elected to pass on taking another defenseman, and selected a centerman from the OHL champions.
Horvat's skill set fits right in with what the Coyotes need up front. A prospect who should stay at the center ice position with strong defensive play and elite faceoff winning potential.
As a strong, physical player in his own zone, Horvat's priorities fit those of the current Coyotes system under Dave Tippett. His offensive upside lends hope that the 18-year-old can develop into a 20+ goal scorer while maintaining his physical play and his defensive prowess.
It's unlikely that Horvat will crack an NHL lineup for the 2013-2014 season, but it should not be long before the Rodney, Ontario native dons a professional jersey and begins his journey to the NHL.
Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus had this to say about Horvat:
Adam Kimelman of NHL.com described Horvat as a:
Mike Morreale of NHL.com commented:
He won't light the lamp as often as Nate MacKinnon or Sasha Barkov, but he provides enough offensive ability to be an effective top-six forward on most teams. Last season with the OHL Champion London Knights, the 18-year-old scored 33 goals and 61 points in 67 games.
Horvat also earned playoff MVP honors for leading his team to the Memorial Cup after posting 16 goals and 23 points in 21 OHL playoff games.
The Knights forward was a point-per-game player in his five Memorial Cup games this season with five points, including a pair of goals.
Horvat shined brightly on a very good Knights team run by the Hunter's. Succeeding under those expectations combined with a solid work ethic, are good signs that success is not too far away for him at the next level.
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**(Check out all the picks at SB Nation Mock Draft 2013)**