Sabres prospect Savoie healthy, aims to impress at training camp

BUFFALO — Fully recovered from a shoulder harm, Matt Savoie hopes the Prospects Challenge used to be step one towards a longer stick with the Buffalo Sabres this season.

“I think my goal is to take the experience for what it is,” he stated. “I came in really excited and I’m just going to continue with that excitement. I’ll put my best foot forward and try to stay as long as I can this year.”

The rookie event supplied Savoie the chance to display why the Sabres decided on him with the No. 9 pick out within the 2022 NHL Draft. The ahead wasn’t in a position to take part within the on-ice classes at building camp in July as a result of he used to be getting better from his harm.

He targeted Buffalo’s best line in all 3 video games right through the Prospects Challenge and his self belief grew because the camp improved, giving him a spice up as he prepares for his first NHL training camp.

“It was huge,” Savoie stated. “Definitely never played against this high level, this type of competition. Just kind of getting my feet wet in the first five, six days here in rookie camp was really good for me, it was a great experience.”

It did not take lengthy for him to impress. In his first apply, he wowed Seth Appert, who ran practices and the bench right through the event. Appert is trainer for Rochester of the American Hockey League.

“Just electric,” Appert stated. “His pace of play is so high, with and without the puck. A lot of times guys of his age and his caliber offensively might not have the work level and the hunt of the puck he does. I just was incredibly impressed with how competitive he is on the puck, how smart he is. … He sees things that other players don’t see. I was incredibly impressed with him.”

Against the New Jersey Devils, with towering defenseman Kevin Bahl (6-foot-6, 230 kilos) on his again, Savoie (5-9, 179) despatched a no-look backhand cross from the nook to ahead Aleksandr Kisakov within the slot for a main scoring alternative and later within the sport used to be left on my own in entrance to rating.

He scored two times within the finale in opposition to the Ottawa Senators, first on a one-timer after which bar down from the slot, and had a number of different scoring alternatives, together with when he took a cross-ice cross in the back of his again and taken it in entrance of him for an opportunity from the left circle. Late within the sport amid a scramble off a face-off, Savoie driven the puck between the legs of Senators middle Dalyn Wakely and briefly stepped via him to get on my own in entrance of goalie Jakob Robillard, just about beating him five-hole at the backhand.

“Just little creative plays I like doing,” Savoie stated. “Trying to mix things up, trying to keep the defensemen on their toes.”

Savoie stored warring parties on their ft final season within the Western Hockey League, when he had 90 issues (35 objectives, 55 assists) in 65 video games for Winnipeg.

“He has a real presence about him for a young man,” Appert stated. “When you talk to him, when you give him instruction, anything, he doesn’t come across as an 18-year-old kid. Carries himself very mature, real good presence, is energized on the ice but didn’t seem like a kid in a candy store, like it’s Christmas morning. Felt like he’s ready to be here, ready for the moment, and ready to go out and show what he is.”

And Savoie intends on doing simply that.

“I think my biggest goal is to definitely play some NHL games this year,” he stated. “It’s not easy to crack the roster at the start of the season, so I think just put my best foot forward. Always working hard, making sure I have attention to detail and just sticking with it this year.”

Savoie sais he is aware of the problem he faces in attempting to earn his method onto a roster with a ahead team that is necessarily set and comprises possibilities Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka knocking at the door to the NHL.

It’s anticipated the Sabres will ultimately ship him again to the Winnipeg to proceed his building. But Savoie plans on benefiting from his time in Buffalo.

“I think that’s all really a player can do,” he stated. “Make the decision to send you home tough and make them not want to send you home. I want to play good enough to be able to stick around as long as I can and that’s really my focus coming up here.”

Photos: Buffalo Sabres / Sara Schmidle

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