NEWARK, N.J. - The Vancouver Canucks have solved their goaltender drama, but not in the way most people expected.
The Canucks traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the ninth pick in the NHL draft, leaving Roberto Luongo as the starting goalie.
“Today’s decision was made after a thorough review of our options and in the interest of improving this team long-term through the draft and development of players,” general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. “We appreciate the high level of professionalism and conduct both Cory and Roberto have shown while continuing to help this team be competitive. I would like to personally thank Cory for his contributions to our team and wish him the very best and a bright future.”
Gillis said he "had to listen" to offers on Schneider. The one he took got the Canucks London Knights forward Bo Horvat at No. 9.
Horvat, an 18-year-old centre, played the past two seasons for the Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 33 goals and 28 assists in 2012-13.
When the trade was announced, Horvat was surprised, like everyone else in Prudential Center. He had no idea the Canucks were going to take him.
"Anything can happen on draft day," Horvat said.
Horvat will undoubtedly be under the microscope after being part of the trade that ended Schneider's Canucks tenure and re-inserted Luongo as the starter.
"I don't feel any pressure, actually," Horvat said. "I think it's more exciting than anything. I'm just really happy to be part of the organization. I can't wait to get there and show them that I can be that guy that they picked me at 9 (for)."
Schneider, 27, has two years left on a contract that counts US$4 million against the salary cap. Veteran Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur turned 41 in May and has one year left.
The Canucks also had the 24th selection in the first round and picked Western Hockey League forward Hunter Shinkaruk, who was ranked as fifth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Shinkaruk had 49 goals and 37 assists to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers.