On Jan. 30, the Islanders acquired Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty and a 2023 conditional first round draft pick. Horvat was in the final year of a six-year, $33 million contract that he signed with Vancouver back in 2017 and was due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The star center will actually end up signing a contract extension before even playing a game for the Islanders: his last game came on Jan. 27 against the Columbus Blue Jackets as a member of the Canucks.
"Whenever you make a transaction like this, you make it for a player that has character," Islanders President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello said on Sunday, according to ESPN. "That knows what a team gives up. And certainly feels comfortable in the organization he's in. All of that, he'll recognize quickly, and hopefully we'll get that done."
Horvat is fresh off of his second career All-Star appearance, as he played the Pacific Division in Saturday's All-Star Game in South Florida. Of course, when Horvat was selected for the event, he was still a member of the Canucks. However, aside from the All-Star Game itself, Horvat represented the Islanders during the All-Star Skills Competition on Friday.
The 27-year-old star is expected to make his Islanders debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. In 49 games during the 2022-23 season, Horvat has already tied his career-high with 31 goals while also recording 23 assists. Horvat also ranks second in the league in number of face-offs taken (1,116) and is winning 56.0 percent of his draws.