April 2, 2022

NHL Draft Notebook: Savoie, Lambert, Havelid & More

Every season, FCHockey’s scouts are scouring the globe to get eyes on prospects eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft and beyond.

They spend countless hours watching both live games and game tape to get the best possible analysis on the prospects entering the NHL Draft.

Here’s a glimpse at their analysis.

MATTHEW SAVOIE | C | Winnipeg (WHL) | February 25, 2022

Spring Ranking: 5

Scouting report by Derek Neumeier

There are few prospects in the 2022 draft whose first few steps are as explosive as Matthew Savoie’s are. Not only does he have the feet to burst quickly, he has the intensity and the drive to apply himself in that area frequently. He’s so competitive and focused, always looking for more ways to get the puck and drive the play. His pacing and motor are among the best in this entire draft class, and he plays that way consistently. Can be a menace on the forecheck, applying enough pressure to force turnovers and mistakes. His puck control is high-end, and his quick hands can work in incredible conjunction with his quick feet to make him unpredictable and evasive in full motion. He thinks the game very well and can find different ways to open up opposing defenses. His playmaking and shot are both great, displaying accuracy and a lot of zip behind them. He has quickly become a top focus for WHL penalty killers across the league. He can bring real value off the puck as well. He’ll work hard to stick to his defensive assignments, and can easily pick off telegraphed passes, especially when play is loose and moving quickly. It’s not easy to play at his size, with some inevitable problems that pop up occasionally, such as getting boxed out of prime scoring areas or directed into the corner. A higher top gear would be nice, to help him get bottled up less. Those problems will increase in number quickly for him as he moves up levels. However, he’s too smart, skilled and determined to get neutralized too often. Savoie shows a lot of the signs of being a future NHL star, and will surely hear his name called early on come draft day.

Full scouting report

BRENNAN ALI | LW | Lincoln (USHL) | March 12, 2022

Spring Ranking: NR

Scouting report by Douglas Larson

Brennan Ali is a speedy forward with a lot of skill that has a a bright future ahead of him. There’s no questioning his skillset and tools that he possesses — its more of his talents not transitioning the best when it comes to game action. He generates speed with ease and has very quick feet making his mobility great out there. Ali is a real threat whenever he has the puck, and is an excellent transition player. His playmaking wasn’t that good this game, it just seemed like whenever he tried to make something the occurring play would just die. The overall execution of making plays and making things happen will need to improve and when they do he’ll be a much more effective player. Ali has the skating, shooting, hands, and offensive awareness to be a big point producer in whatever league he’s in, and I think I could easily see him in the NHL one day. A lot of small details to work out in his game but there’s a real high ceiling for him as a player. If he were to make the NHL I’d think he’d play in a middle-six role while playing a huge part on his teams power play. We’ll probably see Ali used like that throughout his development path. I think he’ll need a few years to develop and round out his game but I’d be looking to take him in the third round of the upcoming draft.

Full scouting report

NOAH WARREN | D | Gainteau (QMJHL) | March 19, 2022

Spring Ranking: 68

Scouting report by Shaun Richardson

Noah Warren is a big, strong defender who is really tough to play against. He uses his stick to direct opponents and take away time and space and, once in range, he can play a heavy game when he closes in. Warren is also a terrific skater who has some pretty good speed and is quite agile for a player his size. In an earlier viewing, I thought Warren looked a bit one-dimensional and favored of a more defense-only style, but in this game he flowed across the ice with and without the puck and showed off his offensive talents as well. He consistently joined the rush and even led the transition up ice a few times. He was able to separate from the opposition and made some fakes to attack and drive wide on the defense. His shot was really impressive from both the blue line or deeper in the zone, and on one rush he showed off a quick release and velocity that beat the goaltender but not the crossbar. In his own zone, Warren defended well and was very composed under pressure. He protected the puck against the forecheck, used his partner to reverse it away from trouble and found passing lanes to initiate breakouts. I really like Warren’s potential and he compares favorably to other defensemen of a similar stature available in the upcoming draft. He has the passing, footwork and physicality in an already NHL-ready frame that is sure to interest a number of teams. I think Warren could be selected as early as the second round and I certainly wouldn’t expect him to still be available beyond the third round. After developing through the junior and minor leagues, I see Warren as a solid third pair NHL defenseman with the real possibility of establishing himself as a second pair defender under the right circumstances.

Full scouting report

BRAD LAMBERT | C | Pelicans (Liiga) | March 24, 2022

Spring Ranking: 8

Scouting report by Rasmus Tornqvist

Brad Lambert has long been one of the most talked about prospects for the 2022 draft, mainly because of his offensive abilities and top of the line speed with the puck. He has had a disappointing season production-wise, but when watching him you still see glimpses of what has made him so highly touted. Lambert seems to be flying every time the play transitions from defense to offense. Once he gets the puck from his defenders and gets going through the neutral zone, he is one of the best players in the league at controlled zone entries. Some of the issues in his play, however, become imminent if he doesn’t get the puck when building up speed to go up the ice. This leads to Lambert sometimes finding himself stationary near the offensive blue line while the puck is still in his own zone, which is obviously not ideal. His pass selection and puck management also leaves room for improvement if he doesn’t find a lane to cross the blue line with the puck. He went for difficult cross-ice passes in the neutral zone several times, which then led to turnovers. When he does cross the blue line with the puck he is good at slowing the play down and finding his teammates. I thought he got stuck on the perimeter a bit too much in the offensive zone, I would like to see Lambert push for the high danger areas a bit more, because the skill to challenge defenders is definitely there. Defensively, he does seem active in keeping an eye on both the play and his own player, but his reaction speed was not always quick enough to allow him to break up the opponents cycles. I still thought he did fairly well defensively in this particular game. Lambert also needs to work on getting stronger on the puck, since he can’t use his speed to get out of every single situation, especially near the boards. The rough season has probably affected his draft stock in many scouts and teams books, but I still think that talent-wise he is one of the top guys of this year’s draft. I’d slot him in at around No. 3-6 based on what I’ve seen from him during this season.

Full scouting report

MATTIAS HAVELID | D | Linkoping (J20) | March 23, 2022

Spring Ranking: 44

Scouting report by Fredrik Haak

The hockey IQ and vision that Mattias Havelid has is at top level, and he is a dynamic puckhandler and distributor that keeps things interesting in every moment of his offensive game. Havelid can makes plays in high speed and makes unpredictable things happen with long and accurate passes that open up the game in a unique way. He shows patience when entering the offensive zone, and dances the blue line trying to find openings to use his hard slap shot. His timing when he gets challenged 1v1 is good, and he often finds the right pace to maneuver the opponent, strip the puck, and start a quick transition back the other way. He also reads the neutral zone game well by interrupting passes and covering options. Havelid showed that he could be vulnerable defensively in some aspects when he is in his own zone. He acted a bit passive around his own net and also a bit uninterested to fight the battles along the boards, ending up on the wrong side from time-to-time. This was my second viewing of Havelid this season and I still think he is one of the most interesting blueliners when we talk about offensive skills and upside, but his defense is an area that concerns me a bit and has not improved the way I was hoping for. At the moment I think Havelid will get picked somewhere in the middle or later portion of the second round in 2022.

Full scouting report

DANIIL DAVYDOV | C | Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL) | March 15, 2022

Spring Ranking: NR

Scouting report by Brandon Holmes

Daniil Davydov is a two-way center who plays with great poise in all three zones. The key aspect of his game is his intelligence and ability to read play with and without the puck on his stick. Davydov does a good job of assisting his defensemen below the hash marks in the defensive zone in generating turnovers and blocking passing lanes in the slot and is able to transition the puck well upon retrieval. Davydov moves very well with a smooth skating stride and strong edge work, though he appeared to lack a high-end gear when it came to speed and acceleration. He keeps his head up with the puck on his stick and showed himself to be a very strong puck distributor, able to identify passing lanes and deliver crisp passing to his linemates. Though he displayed good individual tools, he didn’t often put all of those tools together in the offensive zone. Davydov appeared to lack offensive creativity in this game, opting to make smart and efficient high-percentage plays but was unable to regularly break down coverage. In future viewings, I would like to see Davydov be a more meaningful catalyst for offensive play for his own team and display more creativity and offensive imagination with the puck on his stick. Despite questions regarding his offensive ability and ceiling, I would rate Davydov as a middle-round player for the 2022 NHL Draft based on his smarts, two-way commitment, and solid individual tools.

Full scouting report

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