Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Red Savage Scouting Report.
Blessed with one of the best names in the 2021 NHL Draft, Red Savage is the son of former NHLer Brian Savage. His older brother Ryan Savage is also playing high-level hockey. He is a defenceman playing NCAA Hockey for Miami of Ohio, and Red Savage is committed to joining him next year. Red Savage plays forward though, spending time at centre and left-wing this year. He spent this season playing for the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team. Savage scored 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 46 games. Savage also put up one goal in five games, captaining Team USA at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Unfortunately, the American team was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
In 2019-20 Savage played for the NTDP Under-17 Team. He scored eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 30 games. He also played one game for the Under-18 team, picking up an assist. Savage and the Under-17 team represented Team USA at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He also helped the team to win the silver medal. Savage put up one goal and three assists for four points in six tournament games.
Red Savage Scouting Report
Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born May 15th, 2003 — Scottsdale, Arizona
Height 5’11” — Weight 180 lbs [180 cm / 82 kg]
Savage is an excellent skater. He gets out of the blocks extremely quickly with an excellent first few steps and really good acceleration. His top-end speed is also very good. Savage uses this high-end skating in order to play a 200-foot game. He can take a defenceman wide and cut to the net. He is also quick enough to get back to his own end and support the defence. His quickness is also a weapon that he can use to avoid defenders. Savage can quickly speed up and cut into open ice.
Savage also has good edgework and acceleration. He changes directions quickly, following defenders. He also has strong crossovers. These help him to accelerate out of turns as well as to generate power. Savage needs to continue to gain weight though. As he gets stronger, he will be better at working along the boards and battling for position in front of the net. He is good against his age group but needs to continue to improve in order to play this game against older opponents.
Savage is more of a goal scorer than a playmaker. He does a good job of getting to the front of the net and creating issues for the opposing goalie. Once he establishes his position in front of the net, Savage can score by pouncing on a rebound, tipping in a teammates’ shot, or firing a quick pass to the back of the net. He also has a decent release on his wrist shot, but not a lot of power. This means that he scores most of his goals inside the faceoff dots. Savage is an aggressive player who gets in quickly on the forecheck and creates turnovers.
Savage is not the most creative playmaker. He plays a North-South game and prefers a simple pass to keep the puck moving on the cycle game to making a creative but risky play to a teammate He is also good at protecting the puck in the cycle game as well as winning battles along the boards. Savage’s stickhandling helps him to work the puck down low. However, he seems to struggle at maintaining his speed while carrying the puck through the neutral zone. Savage relies on his teammates to generate zone entries when facing heavy defensive pressure.
Savage already shows an excellent defensive game. With his skating ability, he is often the first forward back in the defensive zone and provides very good back pressure to support the defence against the rush. He is also good at battling down low and containing the opponent’s cycle game. As Savage matures and adds muscle to his frame, this aspect of his game will improve as well. Savage is good at cutting down passing lanes, utilizing his active stick. He has good instincts and reads the play well. Savage is also good positionally. This helps him to create turnovers. When a loose puck is recovered, Savage is quick to move the puck up the ice and start the transition game. He also is strong in the faceoff circle.
Projection and Comparison
Savage is a relatively safe pick in that the combination of his skating and defensive game makes him a good bet to develop into an NHLer. The questions around him surround how good his offensive game can be. Savage disappointed scouts at the Under 18s, especially as he was forced up the US NTDP lineup due to a couple of forwards being unable to compete in the tournament. He also needs to work on his creativity and playmaking skills if he is going to be a top-six skater in the NHL. Even if his offensive game does not fully develop, he should be able to develop into a player capable of playing on the penalty kill and taking some minutes against the opponent’s top lines. Savage’s game is reminiscent of Jean-Gabriel Pageau. This is a stylistic comparison only though, and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Red Savage that are available on youtube as well as Twitter.
— Gabe Foley (@NHLFoley) May 31, 2021
Red Savage @USAHockeyNTDP (#19) with a nice net-front battle, resulting in a goal!🚨
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) February 28, 2021
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 8, 2021
Red Savage's shot is pretty pretty good pic.twitter.com/yEzAURqlX6
— Gabe Foley (@NHLFoley) May 31, 2021
It's not over yet.
Red Savage stole the loose puck in a scramble – good on him to find that.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) May 4, 2021
He may not be the most offensive player on the @USAHockeyNTDP but Red Savage (#19) has been one of the most defensively reliable forwards throughout the season and I can really appreciate the work he puts in shift after shift#2021NHLDraft #USHL pic.twitter.com/FU13lwE6Sx
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) March 22, 2021
— Jakub Hromada (@JakubHromadaCZ) January 18, 2021
Check back later for our latest draft article.
Red Savage Scouting Report Main Photo:
Another day, another top prospect from the @USAHockeyNTDP as the 54th-ranked North American Skater according to @NHLCentralScout is Red Savage (@Rsavey49)! #WhosNext https://t.co/uTm4HC6ec1 pic.twitter.com/5zTQlB1pBu
— USHL (@USHL) July 9, 2021