If you were to bring up a prospect like Matthew Savoie to a regular hockey fan, the reaction is usually the same.
“He’s only twelve.”
The sentiment behind a statement like that is dismissive yet understandable. The fact of the matter is that Matthew Savoie is only 12 years old, however he is doing things we have seen very few hockey players do at such a young age. Not only has he been able to produce at well over a point per game average playing with kids two years older than him, he’s shown that he can be dominant in those games, often times the teams most effective forward. The hesitation or skepticism towards buying into the hype around a player like Savoie is understandable as we’ve seen many players come through the bantam ranks and end up either not living up to expectations or fall through the cracks before they even reach the league. Though this has been the case for a number of players, my money is on Matthew Savoie being one of the best prospects to come out of minor hockey in years.
There are very few flaws in Matthew’s game, and a such an early age, he’s shown a commitment to playing with consistent intensity, and has proven he can be relied upon in any situation. Savoie is a dynamic skater with the ability to explode up the wing, as well as be deceptive with his edge work while transporting the puck. He’s a highly creative offensive zone player who’s ability to find shooting and passing lanes to the net has put him amongst the top scorers in the league. He’s a strong checker, not something you’d expect out of an underage player, but his ability to explode through hits and fight through traffic make him that much more dynamic. He’s a defensively sound player who engages opponents quickly and utilizes his stick well in order to take away passing lanes, making offensive zone time difficult for the opposition. His ability in the faceoff dot is one of his biggest strengths as he has shown he can win draws against bigger competition. Though he’s still a few years away from WHL action, he already projects to be a combination Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Curtis Lazar in his ability to powerful, high skilled game
It’s uncertain whether or not we will see Savoie in Bantam next season as he’s proven to be competitive enough to remain with the ’02 age group, meaning he may end up playing at the Elite 15 level come the 2017/18 season. There are many routes which Savoie could take over the next few years as he has become one of the most heavily recruited players over the past year, and it’s expected by many that he may become the first WHL player granted exceptional status, which would allow him to enter the league full time at 15.
The St. Albert Sabres faceoff against Sherwood Park the first round of the AMBHL playoffs, so follow @DraftGeekHockey for game updates. Thank you for reading.