Sabres top prospect unlikely to receive same exemption as Shane Wright

Published September 13, 2023 at 2:38 PM

Last week, it was reported that the Seattle Kraken were seeking an exemption from the Canadian Hockey League to allow top prospect Shane Wright to play in the American Hockey League rather than returning to Windsor of the OHL.

It appears that the Kraken have received the green light from the CHL to do so, as reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman last Friday. But now, another team and their top prospect aren't getting the same answer from the CHL.

According to Lance Lysowski, the Buffalo Sabres are unlikely to receive an exemption for top prospect Matthew Savoie to have him play in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. This means Savoie will have to return to the WHL's Wenatchee Wild if he doesn't make the Buffalo Sabres' roster this season.

"A source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Buffalo News on Wednesday morning that the Sabres have not received an official ruling from the Canadian Hockey League after they petitioned for an exemption that would allow Savoie to play with the AHL's Rochester Americans if he doesn't make Buffalo's NHL roster during training camp." Lysowski said.

The agreement, which was extended to 2029 last fall, states that National Hockey League teams must return players that are signed to entry-level contracts to their respective team in the Canadian Hockey League if they have not completed four seasons in the CHL or if they aren't 20-years-old as of September 15th. For Matthew Savoie, he doesn't turn 20 until January 1st.

Savoie dominated in the Western Hockey League last season with the Winnipeg Ice, who have since relocated to Wenatchee, Washington. In 62 games during the regular season, he put up 95 points (38 goals, 57 assists), 26 penalty minutes and was a plus-57. He then went on to record 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 19 playoff games.

While it's probably disappointing for Savoie, who wants to begin his professional hockey career as soon as possible and the Sabre want that as well, he could be a huge piece of Canada's World Junior team this winter.

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Sabres top prospect unlikely to receive same exemption as Shane Wright

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