The next steps for Carter Savoie
2 months ago
Carter Savoie entered his first year as a professional hockey player on a high, and now it’s time for him to build upon it.
He scored three goals at the NCAA Division 1 National Championship Tournament while en route to winning it all with the University of Denver Pioneers. One of those three goals Savoie scored was the overtime winner against the University of Michigan Wolverines, a team that had 13 NHL prospects in their lineup at the time. In his post-game interview, Savoie described that goal as “the best I’ve scored in my career.”
Saying that goal was the best of his career was a statement that might seem obvious, however, scoring goals is something Savoie did for fun throughout junior and college. In 175 games combined between Denver and the Sherwood Park Crusaders, his AJHL junior team, Savoie scored 120 total goals.
“He’s a one-shot goal guy,” said Colin Chaulk on The Jason Gregor Show on Sports 1440. “He’s got a great release. He can shoot off a hard pass. He can shoot off a rebound. He can score in many different ways.”
Scoring is one of the hardest skills to figure out in hockey, and over the course of his career, Savoie has found a rhythm that ultimately led to him getting drafted 100th overall in 2020. Unfortunately, in his first season in the American Hockey League, he struggled to find that rhythm, but there are still plenty of things to like about this player.
In 44 games, Savoie scored eight goals before having his season disappointingly disrupted by injuries. His most notable injury came in a 7-3 win over the Tuscon Roadrunners when, at the seven-minute mark of that game, Savoie was on the forecheck and got tangled up with a Roadrunners defenceman. The two players fell to the ice with Savoie going hard into the boards, and his season never managed to get back on the rails. Savoie played ten more games after that injury but didn’t register a point.
“The biggest goal for Carter over the summer was his health and fitness,” said Colin Chaulk, the head coach of the Bakersfield Condors. “His commitment as far as the selection of food, portions, and training regime was noticed. We saw big improvements in his fitness testing and, most importantly, in the Penticton (tournament). It was exciting to see that he had some separation speed along with grabbing points in each game.”
The first year of an NHL prospect’s professional hockey journey can be the most difficult as they learn to adjust to the next level. As a player, you’re transitioning from playing against boys to playing against men, and the game picks up speed in concert with the physicality. But maybe a year of finding out the hard way what it takes in the pro ranks could benefit Savoie and the other prospects down in Bakersfield, knowing that it’s going to take a lot of work and effort to succeed.
Savoie is going to get his opportunity at training camp with the Edmonton Oilers. When he presumably returns to Bakersfield, his biggest objective will be to stay healthy and be on the ice. He’s a player with a bucket full of talent, and if he is able to grab some momentum and maintain a spot in the lineup, then the rest will dictate itself for the local kid.
Recent articles from Liam Horrobin