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 2022 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 Matthew Savoie Scouting Report.
Drafted 1st Overall by the Winnipeg Ice in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft, the COVID pandemic prevented Matthew Savoie from making a big impact in Manitoba until this season. He scored 35 goals and 55 assists for 90 points in 65 games. Savoie led all WHL rookies in points. He has also added one goal and two assists for three points in his first three WHL playoff games.
In 2020-21 Savoie played in the USHL while the WHL was shut down for most of the year. He put up 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points in 34 games with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Savoie was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team. He also played four games for the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the AJHL that season, scoring three goals and three assists for six points before the league was shut down.
Savoie played 22 games with Winnipeg as a 15-year-old in 2019-20. He didn’t score a goal but had seven assists.
Savoie’s older brother Carter Savoie was drafted in the 4th round, 100th overall, by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2020 NHL Draft. He helped the University of Denver to the NCAA Championship this season.
Matthew Savoie Scouting Report
Center — shoots Right
Born January 1st, 2004 — St. Albert, Alberta
Height 5’9″ — Weight 178 lbs [175 cm/81 kg]
Undersized, Matthew Savoie shows dynamic offensive ability despite that. It starts with his skating ability. He is an absolute burner, amongst the fastest players in the WHL. However, he can also be very tricky out there on the ice. Savoie has elite acceleration. His ability to change speeds helps him to beat defenders off the rush or in the offensive zone. He also has high-end agility and edgework. This helps him to avoid defenders both with and without the puck. He can take a defender wide and cut to the front of the net. He also can create space with quick moves in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. Savoie will need to get stronger though. This will improve his ability to fight through checks and win battles on the boards.
Savoie has all the offensive skills that one would want to see in a young prospect. He has outstanding stickhandling and puck control. He can make moves both in the zone and in the neutral zone. As a result, he is able to create effective zone entries. Once in the zone, he can control the play on the half boards and set up teammates for scoring chances. He has the passing ability to feather a tape-to-tape pass through a tight passing lane, or even through the perfect saucer pass to a teammate. His vision and hockey IQ are high-end. Savoie can slow down the play and wait for his linemates to get open. When they do, he hits them with a quick pass to create a scoring chance.
Savoie also has an excellent array of shots. His wrist shot, snapshot, and backhand are powerful and accurate. He has the ability to get the puck off his stick very quickly. His release is also deceptive and this can fool goaltenders. Savoie has a knack for finding open ice when he doesn’t have the puck. This allows him to get open for a pass from a teammate. He can stand to shoot more though. However, Savoie can sometimes play a bit too much on the perimeter at times. He has trouble getting to the front of the net when facing bigger and stronger opponents. This should come as he continues to gain muscle on his frame.
Savoie’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. His lack of size can be a real detriment in his own end. He has trouble containing bigger and stronger opponents in the cycle game. However, he is committed to coming back and helping out in his own end. His positioning is decent enough and he tries to force attackers to the perimeter. He also uses his active stick to cut down passing lanes. Savoie needs to get stronger on his stick and use his low centre of gravity to help him win more faceoffs as well. Once a turnover is created, Savoie is quick to move the puck up the ice. He transitions quickly from defence to offence and can create chances off the rush.
Projection and Comparison
Savoie has high-end offensive skills. His ceiling is high and he could develop into a first-line centre in time. He’s been at his best on the power play in the WHL but should be able to provide even more at 5v5 as he continues to develop muscle on his frame. Savoie will need some time before he is NHL ready. He can continue to work on his skating and add muscle to his frame. Expect to see him play a big role for Team Canada at the World Juniors this summer, as well as the 2023 tournament in December/January. He should also spend another season in the WHL. Savoie’s game is reminiscent of Mathew Barzal. 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 Matthew Savoie that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Matthew Savoie working the defender 'window' on this even-strength tally
Make it 19 goals and a WHL-leading 53 points in 35 games. pic.twitter.com/ww8lmAO0Vp
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 16, 2022
Word around the campfire is Matthew Savoie will return to Winnipeg of the WHL this season after playing in the USHL last year.
Something tells me he's going to get on just fine in his draft year pic.twitter.com/TDfrDcBVR0
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 31, 2021
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) January 27, 2021
Matthew Savoie grabs his 2nd of the night on the backhand. He's up to 11 points in ~6 WHL GP on the season.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) October 17, 2021
Check back tomorrow for our next article on the 2022 NHL Draft.
Matthew Savoie Scouting Report Main Photo:
KITCHENER, ONTARIO – MARCH 23: Matthew Savoie #93 of Team Red skates during morning skate prior to the 2022 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on March 23, 2022 in Kitchener, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)