Report: Sabres Set To Make Big Decision On 1st-Rounder Matthew Savoie

That's five rehab games in the book—and five points—in the AHL for Matthew Savoie. His conditioning stint is done, now it's time for the Buffalo Sabres to make a decision on the No. 9 overall pick of the 2022 Draft. If they send the 19-year-old back to junior, they can't recall him until the WHL season is complete.

According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the choice is obvious.

Let’s cut to the chase here: The Buffalo Sabres want no part of Zach Benson or Matt Savoie playing junior hockey in Wenatchee, Wash., this season. Benson and Savoie have both clearly outgrown the junior ranks. But the agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League, which operates junior clubs, prohibits players from going to the AHL until they are 20.  
So it’s NHL or juniors for both for now. 

The decision for Benson can wait, as he's still recovering from a lower-body injury, and is week-to-week with six NHL games under his belt. 

But for Savoie, his time appears to have come—at least for a good look with Buffalo in their bottom-six. He's fully recovered now from the injuries (shoulder and elbow) he picked up in the Prospects Challenge, causing him to miss nearly all of training camp. 

A call-up to the Sabres means he'll have nine games to prove his worth before his entry-level contract starts to kick in. After back-to-back 90-point seasons with the Winnipeg Ice of the junior Western Hockey League, the diminutive center appears ready to go. 

As noted by Harrington: "With his play in the AHL (over the last five games), and enough depth in the NHL to let him play in the bottom six, he can adjust his game. It is highly unlikely the Sabres will loan him down to the WHL". 

Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports