Yann Sauve is the native of Montréal, Québec where he started learning the game of hockey. He was drafted 41st overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2008 NHL draft. He joined the Canucks alongside other draft picks the same year, including Cody Hodgson, Prab Rai, Mats Froshaug and Morgan Clark.
Sauve is a big-bodied defenseman who was once projected to be a very solid two-way defenseman in the NHL. However, Sauve's defensive game and awareness inside his own zone has outgrown his progress handling the puck. As a result, scouts are suggesting that he will eventually turn into a big-minute shutdown defenseman on the Canucks in the future.
Listed at 6'3'' and 209 lbs, Sauve has the NHL size to be a staple on the blue line. However, he still needs some further education with Craig MacTavish and the Chicago Wolves to improve his decision-making ability with the puck. He has the ability to dominate a game with his physicality and defensive knowledge, but Sauve can really take his game to another level if he can be a solid puck distributor making that first pass.
At 22 years of age, Sauve is becoming more accustomed to how the game is played at the pro level, and he will continue to learn the game with some intensive training with his puck handling skills this summer. Like Chris Tanev, he will need to work on his pass, his shot, and decision-making ability when he has the puck on the tape of his stick.
It is unknown at this point if Sauve can crack the Canucks lineup anytime soon, but his status is going to be determined on how much he improves over the summer, and the performance he shows at training camp in September.
What do you project Yann Sauve to be in the NHL?
Sauve did have a brief stint with the Canucks back in the 2010-11 season where he appeared in two regular season games when the team was decimated by injuries. They ended up using 13 different defensemen that year, and Sauve was one of them.
When September arrives, Sauve will be working on how to earn a third game and beyond with the Canucks.
This is Joseph Trenton reporting from Vancouver.
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