New York State In-depth

3 reasons Matthew Savoie wants to be a franchise cornerstone

The Buffalo Sabers selected Matthew Savoie ninth overall on July 7th. He already signed his entry-level contract and is poised to make an impact.

Matthew Savoie dropped to the ninth overall selection and the Buffalo Sabers wasted no time in scooping him up. Savoie may have gone higher if it wasn’t for his small, 5’9 frame. But it clearly did not sway the Sabers.

And why should it? Savoie played in 65 games for the Winnipeg Ice in 2021-22 and scored 90 times, including 35 goals and 55 assists. Add another 12 points, six goals, and six assists in 10 playoff games, and you have a grand total of 102 points in just 75 contests.

Expect Savoie to have an encore performance for the Ice this season before he most likely contends for a spot on the Sabers roster in 2023-24. So what will make Savoie the next franchise cornerstone? Here are three reasons.

Jul 7, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; Matthew Savoie after being selected as the number nine overall pick to the Buffalo Sabers in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Savoie will develope into a franchise cornerstone for the Buffalo Sabers: Reason #1 – Personal Connections

It’s not every day that a draft prospect has personal connections to the team that drafts them. But Savoy is an outlier. He saw his first taste of WHL action with the Ice in 2019-20, and current Buffalo Sabers center/winger Peyton Krebs happened to be the team captain at the time.

So when Savoie heard his name called on July 7th, he knew there was not one, but actually two, familiar faces within the organization every bit as ecstatic as he was to be going to the Sabers. When COVID-19 put the WHL season in doubt, Krebs remained with the Ice when the league did begin play while Savoie headed to the USHL to play a season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. A team Zemgus Girgensons is part owner of.

Even more interesting, Girgensons was responsible for recruiting Savoie that season. Much in the same way Krebs reached out to him when he was torn between playing college hockey at the University of Denver or joining the WHL after the Ice drafted him number one overall.

Whether Girgensons is still with the Sabers when Savoie gets there remains to be seen. But chances are, cancer wants. And since the latter is already familiar with Savoie, odds are, it may spur his development whether or not they are line mates early on. That reduced learning curve will work wonders for Savoie.

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