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Matthew Savoie



Scout: Brandon


Buffalo Sabres
2022 NHL Entry Draft
1st Round Pick
9th Overall Selection by the Buffalo Sabres

MAIN REPORT

Skating:
  • More of a North/South skater that can laterally change lanes effectively.

  • Lacks speed and power in his stride.

  • Doesn’t utilize a high degree of motor but will redline when on the rush, especially if it is an odd man rush with a higher degree of a scoring chance.

  • Awkward edgework at times with little subtlety to his skating for, especially for a smaller player.

Puck handling:
  • Heads up and not flashy.

  • May over handle the puck at times, slowing down the flow of the play up the ice. This may be a vision/IQ issue.

  • Can effectively break up plays and disrupt the puck carrier with his stickwork.

  • Has the potential to make incredible passes but is quite inconsistent in pass effort.

  • 25/57 (43.8%) on face-off on games viewed.

Shot:
  • High volume and opportunistic shooter.

  • Will take shots on goal, even if it is only to create chaos and rebounds.

  • Explosive one-timer.

  • Crisp snap shot.

IQ (vision, offensive and defensive anticipation, panic meter):
  • Weighted to anticipate offensive breaks, even while on the defense.

  • Can make high level plays under pressure.

  • I do wonder if the “over handling” of the puck is a processing speed issue where he is not seeing the ice well or if it is more of a paralysis by analysis sort of deal.

Defense:
  • Often the last man back on D-zone coverage.

  • Can be disruptive and dangerous on the PK, especially with his opportunistic leanings.

Best Asset:
  • His shot is his main weapon by a wide margin.

Biggest Concern:
  • Skating in all areas is about average for the WHL. Could use power development and refinement of edgework that could unlock more fluidity in his upper body.

Top Tier Potential:
  • Complementary volume shooter, 30-40-70, with special teams deployment. Not sure if his size and skating would make him a good NHL center.

Most Likely Tier:
  • 15-20-35, middle six forward with low peripherals besides shots. Potential for him to get caught in limbo between the AHL and NHL if his game remains raw.

Stylistic Comparable:
  • Similar opportunistic nose for the net but a much less gritty and greasy Zach Hyman with shades of Tyler Ennis and Patty Kane, especially in regards to the rigid upper body posture of the latter.

GAME REPORTS

Date: 2022-10-15

League: WHL

Team: Winnipeg

Opponent: Prince George

Score: 4-1 Winnipeg

Notable Stats: 1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, 0 HIT, 0 BLK, 18:24 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Effectively uses his stick in close to disrupt the puck carrier.

  • Poke checked a pass attempt along the blue line on the PK.

  • Holds the puck a bit longer than seems necessary when looking to make a pass.

  • Timid passing gusto.

  • Heads up puck handler especially when entering the zone.

  • Solid deke ability to control the puck in a wide range compared to his center of mass.

  • Went 13/23 on face offs.

Shooting:
  • Opportunistic snap shot off a creative feed from behind the net for a goal.

Skating:
  • Seems to lack speed as a result of being both low torque and motor.

  • Only seems to push his motor if on an offensive rush.

  • Edgework is average for the WHL at best.

Defense:
  • Worked the PK and applied decent pressure to the point.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • Positionally very floaty for a small player.

  • Late to join defensive coverage on turnovers or rushes against.

  • Plays defense by zone and is more so looking for passes to pick off or loose pucks.

Standout skill today:
  • Puck handling.

What was missing today?:
  • Skating and team game.

----------------

Date: 2023-01-08

League: WHL

Team: Winnipeg

Opponent: Portland

Score: 6-3 Winnipeg

Notable Stats: 2 G, 2 A, 6 SOG, 1 HIT, 0 BLK, 16:21 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Made a crisp, lateral pass to gain zone entry.

  • Seems like he was over handling the puck which slows forward progress of the play.

  • Uses his low center of mass to gain leverage and perspective on faceoffs.

  • Went 4/15 on the draw.

Shooting:
  • Wrist shot generated a rebound that found the back of the net for an assist.

  • Capitalized on a loose puck from a broken play around the crease for a snap shot goal.

Skating:
  • Awkward edgework at times.

  • More N/S than a rangy E/W skater.

  • Stays in his lane up and down the ice with the odd lane change within 6 feet.

  • Got behind the D on a breakout pass and put on speed to charge the net, then made a slick pass through coverage to pick up an assist.

Defense:
  • Eventually circles back to the front of the net, not to physically cover an opponent but solely focused on puck opportunities.

  • Was slow to get to the net front to cover an open man on a goal against.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • Attacks open ice when entering the zone.

  • Doesn’t display much frazzle due to being fueled by the excitement of having puck control.

Standout skill today:
  • Shot volume.

What was missing today?:
  • Mobility and commitment away from the puck.

----------------

Date: 2023-03-31

League: WHL

Team: Winnipeg

Opponent: Medicine Hat

Score: 5-3 Winnipeg

Notable Stats: 3 G, 1 A, 7 SOG, 1 HIT, 0 BLK, 19:58 TOI


Passing/Stickhandling:
  • Quick backwards dish in front of the net off a rebound to set up a goal.

  • Crisp, rink wide, neutral zone long pass off a hard stop and curl under pressure.

  • Quick hands on the draw.

  • 8/19 on the dot.

Shooting:
  • Drove to the open ice to the right of the net to take advantage of a feed for a goal.

  • Bullet of a one-timer from the left circle for a goal.

  • ENG for the hat-trick.

Skating:
  • Uses more of a lateral movement on dekes rather than puck control and dexterity.

Defense:
  • Did lean on players in close; used a wide stance and his hips to be physical as opposed to his upper body.

  • Often last player back when on backcheck or regrouping to defend against a zone entry.

  • Goal against due to looking at the puck instead of covering the open player.

Decision Making/Panic Meter/IQ:
  • Showed patience in looking for the best play when the net was empty. Game a number of looks for a pass that ended up being covered and resulted in him cutting inwards to get a clean shot on goal.

  • Takes intermediary space away from puck carriers and chooses when to encroach wisely.

Standout skill today:
  • Shot velocity.

What was missing today?:
  • Most things on defense.


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