Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Matthew Savoie Drawing Lofty Hockey Comparisons Even at the Age of 14

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Matthew Savoie Drawing Lofty Hockey Comparisons Even at the Age of 14

Article excerpt

Savoie drawing lofty comparisons at age 14

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He's only 14 but already Matthew Savoie is drawing comparisons to the likes of Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon.

Trouble is, Savoie isn't eligible for the WHL bantam draft until May 2019 and even then would be allowed to play just five games during the 2019-20 campaign. That has Savoie's family considering whether to apply for exceptional status.

If granted, Savoie could play the entire 2019-20 season.

"There's been some talk about it," said Savoie's father, Scott.

Scott Savoie is well aware of the risks associated with allowing his son to move away from home and play in the WHL as a 15-year-old. But there's also the consideration of Matthew Savoie's development.

"We still want to challenge him in the game," Scott Savoie said. "So depending on what his skill level is, if that's the next level he needs to get to to be challenged, then you have to take that into account as well."

The native of St. Albert, Alta., began playing bantam hockey as a 12-year-old last season, competing against 13- and 14-year-olds. He's currently in his second year at the level, having recorded 20 goals and 61 points in 19 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme.

His average of 3.2 points per game is tied for first in the CCSHL Bantam Prep Division.

Brent Parker, a former Regina Pats executive now serving as the head western Canadian scout for ISS Hockey, feels Savoie might've been a top-five selection at last year's Western Hockey League draft and would certainly go first overall this year if eligible.

"Because of the way he skates I hate using Sidney Crosby," Parker said. "But he kind of plays the same type of style where he's so competitive, fights for pucks and is hard on his stick.

"I remember watching Nathan MacKinnon in bantam with Shattuck St. Mary's, and there's a little bit of that. I don't think he's quite as explosive a skater as MacKinnon, but he's an awful good skater."

But the WHL isn't Savoie's only option. He could follow his older brother, 15-year-old Carter Savoie, and take the college route. The older Savoie has committed to the University of Denver in November despite being selected by Regina in the 2017 WHL draft. …

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