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The longest-serving current Oiler is Matt Savoie's hockey hero


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Sam Jones
July 7, 2024  (11:11)
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The longest-serving current Oiler is Matt Savoie's hockey hero
Photo credit: Micheline Veluvolu

In a notable move that shook the hockey world last September, the Edmonton Oilers acquired center Matt Savoie from the Buffalo Sabres.

The trade, involving players Ryan McLeod and Tyler Tullio, came as a surprise when interim general manager Jeff Jackson announced the decision, an event that has sparked conversations about team dynamics and player inspirations in the NHL.
During this transition, Savoie, a promising young star drafted ninth overall in the 2022 entry draft, shared a heartfelt revelation about his hockey idol. In discussions with ESPN's Greg Wyshynski and at the NHLPA rookie showcase, Savoie expressed his admiration for Oilers veteran Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, highlighting the personal influence Nugent-Hopkins has had on his career.
«I actually skated with Nugent-Hopkins this summer. To see him firsthand was really good for me,» Savoie remarked. «Kind of a smaller guy from the West who really improved his game.»
Savoie's experiences on the ice with Nugent-Hopkins seem to have left a significant mark on him, as he noted the veteran's meticulous skill and game sense.
«He was a 104-point guy for a reason. When you see him in summer skates, you can tell that. He's finishing everything. He's making good passes. He knows where everyone is on the ice,» he added. «Just to see that firsthand and kind of take things from his game was huge.»

The young center's trajectory has been impressive, with a remarkable stint in the Western Hockey League, where he played for both the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Wenatchee Wild. His record of 71 points in 34 games last season, coupled with a stellar playoff performance of 24 points in 19 games, demonstrates his capability and readiness for the NHL level.
With the Oilers, Savoie joins a team that has consistently been in the playoff mix, a stark contrast to the struggling Buffalo Sabres. His entry into the Oilers' lineup not only brings fresh talent to the team but also fulfills a personal milestone of playing alongside Nugent-Hopkins, who has been pivotal in shaping his approach to the game.
As training camp approaches in September, all eyes will be on Savoie to see if he can translate his junior success and the lessons from his hero into his NHL career. If his past performance and mentorship experiences are any indicators, Savoie is poised to be a significant asset for the Oilers in the upcoming season.
Source: Oilers Nation
Before being traded to Oilers, Matt Savoie named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins his hockey hero
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The longest-serving current Oiler is Matt Savoie's hockey hero

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