Background and Introduction
The Edmonton Oilers added Carter Savoie to their list of prospects in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Drafted in the fourth round at 100th overall, Savoie appears to be well suited to being a mid of the draft pick of the Oilers. A solid, if not outstanding prospect, Savoie is committed to playing hockey for the University of Denver in the NCAA. With the NCAA season having restarted on November 13, 2020, it should be an interesting season for Savoie as it won’t be a normal hockey experience in any league with pandemic protocols in place.
Savoie was a standout for the Sherwood Park Crusaders last season. He had 53 goals in 54 games played, is a left wing (!), and is able to read the play in front of him. Elite Prospects notes that his shot is deceptive and powerful and he’s able to use a screen effectively. This ability could account for some of his success in adding to his goal totals.
WHAT EVEN? A player that doesn’t just fire at the goalie centre mass? What is this?
Savoie is likely a couple years away from joining the Oilers system fulltime… if he signs with the Oilers. While Savoie seems like a solid prospect, it will depend on the Oilers contract numbers, prospect list, and the development the 18 year old shows in the NCAA as there was some concerns about his ability to transition and play at a higher level.
Oh hey look… we mostly sort of agree… except Corey. Corey is the outlier here.
Why He Made the List
As mentioned before, Savoie was a beast in the AJHL. His 53 goals in 54 games is more than a little impressive. Add in his 46 assists for 99 points total, his offense is something to take note of. He also shoots left, which could be an interesting addition to the Oilers offense.
Savoie isn’t the biggest player at only 5’10” but he does seem to know how to use his size to play a style of hockey that suits him. He’s able to read defenders, pass well, and shoot well and variety of places. Savoie’s shot was classifed by Dobber Prospects as “wicked” which seems to indicate something more than your average good shot.
Savoie is obviously a prospect the Oilers think will develop into something more than he currently appears to me. With his commitment to the Fetching...University of Denver, there is a probability there will be more than meets the current eye to Savoie.
Another reason Savoie made the list at 20 is that Oilers have relatively few individuals in their system under the age of 25 – only 33 – and Savoie shows considerably more potential for an NHL level ceiling than some of the prospects on the list. And so Savoie lands a 20.
Why He Made the List at 20
So, let’s be clear, I think Savoie has the ability to be an interesting prospect in the Oilers system. However, I’m not unaware of the criticisms leveled his way. He’s inconsistent without the puck on his stick, he needs to work on his offensive game, and pundits were quick to question his commitment. He’s not at a point in his development where he’ll be making impacts in the Oilers system for at least two, and probably three years. Savoie is a solid player, but there’s a reason why he was projected as a middle of the draft pick. He’s not expected to be the next amazing player, but he is expected to be impactful. A solid number 20… not someone we expect great things but not someone we look at and wonder why the Oilers wasted a draft pick on.
Interestingly enough, Savoie didn’t seem to merit a lot of comparisons making it more difficult to guess at what kind of player he’ll be in a few years.
Savoie does, however, have a chance to play hockey this year which is more than prospects in some other leagues are facing. The major junior leagues in Canada are still struggling to figure out how to adapt the QMJHL’s experiment to allow them to play part of their seasons with pandemic protocols in place.
Savoie’s growth this season will be somewhat telling and whether he goes up or down in the rankings next year.