With Buffalo Sabres prospect Matt Savoie now in Rochester to potentially find a spot during the playoffs, where will he play come October 2023?
Now that we could see Buffalo Sabres prospect Matt Savoie in Rochester to potentially assist the Amerks during their deep playoff run, will we see him playing for them next season? Unfortunately, since he is signed with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice and won’t turn 20 until January 1st, playing him in Rochester for the entire year isn’t an option, so this puts Savoie in an interesting spot.
As it stands, the Sabres have three main options regarding Savoie’s status. They can either:
- Play him in Buffalo
- Assign him to Winnipeg for another year
- Let him take the “Shane Wright Route”
Clearly, there are pros and cons to each of the above. Given his productivity and overall skill-set, for example, Savoie could find a spot with the Sabres, likely on the third line to start things off. But at 5’9, 175lb, and the fact he could still stand to grow into his frame, one issue is whether he can withstand a full season in the NHL.
What will the Buffalo Sabres do with Matt Savoie in 2023-24?
The second option is simple: Assign him to Winnipeg for another year. But in my opinion, this seems like the least likely option, given how well the former ninth overall pick played the past two seasons. Is it really doing him any good to return him to the Ice, only for Savoie to dominate the competition? At this point, it probably doesn’t help his development.
They can also take the “Shane Wright Route,” as I’ll call it for this article’s purpose. This entails Savoie to do the following:
- Spend roughly eight games on the Sabres roster
- Head to Rochester on an eight-game “conditioning assignment”
- Play in the IIHF World Juniors if applicable, or return to the Winnipeg Ice
- Play for Winnipeg, then return to the Amerks following the season
If the Sabres believe Savoie is ready for an 82-game slate, I can see him spending the entire year in a blue and gold uniform. It’s tough to see them assigning him to Winnipeg for an entire season, as he’s clearly outpacing the competition, so the “Shane Wright Route” is a clear alternative to simply playing an entire season with the Ice.
It will be interesting to see what the Buffalo Sabres decide to do with Savoie next year. And the best part? We only need to wait a few more months.
Source: Sabres prospect Matt Savoie will have opportunity to earn spot in Amerks’ lineup by Lance Lysowski, BuffaloNews.com