Sabres choose Winnipeg heart Matthew Savoie at No. 9 after failing so as to add goalie | Buffalo Sabres Information

MONTREAL – As teenage hockey players, agents, teams and league officials prepared for the first in-person NHL Draft since 2019, Kevyn Adams worked Thursday morning to complete a seismic trade to improve the Buffalo Sabres’ roster and add another top 10 selection.

The Sabres agreed to acquire veteran goalie Matt Murray, who has underperformed the past three seasons, from the Ottawa Senators to work in tandem with Craig Anderson. As part of the deal, Ottawa would retain a portion of the $15 million owed to Murray until 2024 and Buffalo would flip its first-round pick at No. 16 for the seventh overall selection.

The deal died before it could be completed. Murray, who is working his way back from post-concussion symptoms, nixed the move by sticking to his 10-team no-trade list, which included Buffalo.

Winnipeg Ice player Matt Savoie during a game against the Calgary Hitmen in 2020.

While the search for a goalie continued, the Sabres still landed one of the draft’s top talents at their pick, ninth overall, in Winnipeg Ice center Matthew Savoie. Buffalo still holds picks 16 and 28 in the first round from the Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart trades, respectively.

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Savoie, 18, totaled 41 goals and 102 points in 75 games between the regular season and playoffs for the Ice, who are coached by former Buffalo defenseman and assistant coach James Patrick. Listed at 5-foot-9, Savoie is a dynamic skater and playmaker who can play center or wing.

He applied for exceptional status with the Canadian Hockey League to play major junior hockey at only 15 years old but wasn’t granted the right to join the Ice until 2019-20, when he was roommates with Sabres center Peyton Krebs.

Savoie told reporters in Montreal on Wednesday that he had multiple conversations with the Sabres during his season, as well as a long discussion at the scouting combine in May. He suffered a shoulder injury this spring that required surgery but regained full movement and expects to resume skating as soon as next week.

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