There have been rumours abound about if the Winnipeg Ice will select Matthew Savoie with the first overall pick in the 2019 WHL Draft. Savoie is expected to be the first or second player drafted at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and is neck and neck with Shane Wright to go first overall. Savoie was denied exceptional status to the WHL but do not let that lower your expectations of Savoie. Savoie is an elite player who has taken the CSSHL by storm despite being a year younger than his competition.
The Ice own the first overall pick and the ninth overall pick. Many believe that they will draft Savoie despite the fact he has already committed to play in the NCAA for his NHL draft season. If Savoie does intend to play in the NCAA then he has to forgo the WHL/CHL because of NCAA rules.
The Ice have made it clear that they want Savoie to play for the team and have tried to entice Savoie by acquiring the rights to his brother Carter. Carter Savoie spent the 2018-2019 season in the AJHL as he is committed to The University Of Denver of the NCAA along with Matthew. Carter is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and would be able to significantly increase his draft stock with a strong season in the WHL. Savoie is undoubtedly the best player eligible for the draft and a franchise defining player. Although he is a can’t miss player, the Winnipeg Ice just cannot afford to draft him. If he is still available with their second first round pick then by all means they should draft him, but with the first overall pick you want a player who will play for your team and the chances high are that Savoie will not play in Winnipeg. The Ice are in desperate need of a franchise player. Peyton Krebs was by far the teams best player this season and was basically the only real bright spot in the organization. Savoie would be limited to 5 games with the WHL next season but there have been some exceptions of players playing over the 5 game mark. These exceptions are usually due to injuries.
Conor Geekie is one of the top options for the Ice to draft. Geekie is a highly skilled player and lead the entire WBAAA in scoring with 86 points in just 31 games. In 66 career WBAAA games, the 6’3 forward has scored 87 goals and 67 assists totalling up to an astounding 154 points. Geekie ranks second to only NHL superstar Jonathan Toews in highest all time WBAA scorer.
Another player that the Winnipeg Ice should strongly consider selecting first overall would be Koehn Ziemmer. Zimmer spent the 2018-2019 season playing for the CSSBHL where he finished the season behind only Connor Bedard in scoring. (Bedard is not eligible for the 2019 WHL Draft). In just 29 games this season Ziemmer scored 37 goals and 39 assists totalling up to 76 points.
Geekie and Ziemmer are just two great players that the Ice should consider dating with the first overall pick. Others include Connor Gourley, Tyson Zimmer, Keaton Dowhaniuk, Bowden Singleton, and multiple others.
Matthew Savoie is the best prospect eligible for the 2019 WHL Draft, but the Winnipeg Ice Need to draft a player that will actually be a part of the teams future and someone who can help bring the franchise back to their winning ways.