With so much hype that surrounds Boston Bruins first-round draft pick, Tyler Seguin, it’s easy for some other player to become an afterthought. But back from injury and a terrific performance last night at the TD Garden, the name Max Sauve will be one that fans will remember throughout this year’s preseason and training camp.
Sauve hit the back of the net at 9:26 of the second period that was a result of hard work and hustle, as he came barreling through the slot to bury home a rebound from his linemate Tyler Randell.
“It felt good to score there.” said Sauve after last night’s 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. “Just drive the net and score.”
But Sauve is no stranger to lighting the lamp. Throughout his five seasons with the Val d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the 6-foot-1, 186 pound Sauve has tallied 76-116-192 scoring totals in 219 regular season games. His best year was during his 2008-09 season with the Val d’Or Foreurs, when he racked up a scoring line 27-49-76 totals in just 64 games.
The speedy France native hit a speed bump last year, breaking an ankle in November which required surgery, causing him to miss nearly four months of action. The 20-year-old still managed to put up better than a point-per-game average: 13-22-35 in 25 games played, as well as 5-2-7 in six post season contests.
But the ankle is healed and it certainly shows.
“I feel great with my ankle.” he said when asked about that particular injury. “I feel great on the ice.”
Now that Sauve has been 100-percent entering this year’s training camp, he can really showcase his speed and explosiveness, superb on-ice skills and aggressiveness — all of which is going to make it difficult for other players to catapult past him in the pecking order. Overshadowed by Seguin, as well as Jordan Caron (who had a hat trick last night) and Joe Colborne, Sauve’s name is certainly in this group of players to make a run at this year’s Bruins roster.
The center played primarily with Ryan Spooner and Tyler Randell on his wings during last night’s contest, and paired up with Spooner and Caron on Boston’s second power play unit. Sauve finished the night with 1-0-1, E, and four shots on goal. He showed a gritty edge, too, throwing his big frame around and mixing it up a bit.
“I try to be aggressive and use my speed, that’s what I want to use.”
He was signed to a three-year entry-level deal back in December with a cap-hit just under $850,ooo, so there’s still plenty of time for the youngster to develop even more. He appeared in six games for the Providence Bruins last season, scoring two goals in his debut.
But Sauve’s potential is just being untapped. While players such as Seguin and Caron may have a better shot at making the big club this year, Sauve won’t be very far behind.