The 2022 NHL Draft eligible sensation Matthew Savoie will not be spending his junior hockey career in the Western Hockey League. Just days after being denied exceptional status into the WHL, Savoie has announced that he has committed to play the 2021-2022 season in the NCAA for the University of Denver. 

Savoie had a fantastic 2018-2019 season which saw him gain recognition and status throughout the hockey world and has helped establish himself as a potential first or second overall pick for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Alberta native spent the 2018-2019 season playing for North Alberta X-Treme Prep of the CSSHL. Savoie finished the season as his team’s highest scorer with 31 goals and 40 assists in just 31 games played.

He was named as the CSSHL’s Most Valuable Player for his historic season. Savoie is now the highest scoring U15 player to play in the CSSHL and one of the most prolific scorers ever in the CSSHL and only just turned 15 years of age.

The 2021-2022 season is Savoie’s draft season, meaning that he will be playing in the NCAA during the year in which he is eligible. Being a 17-18-year-old in the NCAA is no easy feat and Savoie will follow the footsteps of players such as Jack Eichel and Brady Tkachuk who also played their draft seasons in the NCAA respectively. The 15-year-old has accelerated his schooling in order to play for Denver for his draft season which is not common for a player of his age.

By not going down the WHL route, this means that Savoie will likely be playing in the USHL or the USHS. The best option for Savoie would likely be the USHL next season as the skill level is tougher then that of the USHS. 

Matthew Savoie has generated a lot of buzz as of late as he is already considered to be one of, if not, the best prospect available in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Hockey Canada shocked the world when they denied Savoie exeptional status to the WHL while they granted Shane Wright exeptional status on the same day.

His brother, Carter, has recently committed to the University of Denver as well. Carter Savoie is a highly skilled prospect who is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Carter spent the 2018-2019 season playing in the AJHL where he recorded 31 goals and 42 assists, totalling up to 73 points in 58 games played.

The No.1 ranked bantam prospect is too good to spend another season in the CSSHL as he dominated a league that featured players up to 18 years of age. By being denied exceptional status, he is not eligible to play in the WHL for the 2019-2020 season. By committing to the NCAA, Savoie will have options to play in the U.S. which would be a step up from the CSSHL and would help progress his development as well.

Before turning 15, he was already drawing comparisons to some of the top players in the game such as Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. Savoie will be one of the most interesting players to watch next season as he will likely be taking his name to the next level in North America.

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