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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bruins prospect profile #5: Maxime Sauve

Maxime "Max" Sauve, C/LW
6-2, 190
January 30, 1990
Shoots: Left
Boston's 2nd selection, 47th overall in 2008
Signing status: Signed through 2013

Talent Analysis


Physical:Tall, lanky build: and has more room to fill out. Upper body will need more strength training and development. Explosive skater; Erupts out of the blocks and puts defenders on their heels when he attacks them with his high-end speed. Also shifty with his east-west movement, but Sauve's greatest strength is his ability to come right at the teeth of a defense and still be able to get himself into position to generate scoring chances. Good puckhandler; handles the biscuit at top speed. Goes to the net with his stick on the ice, looking to cash in. Solid shooter; not overpowering, but is able to get rid of it quickly and finish off chances in close. Quick hands on the deke make him lethal when he brings the puck in alone at full gallop. Defensively responsible, but clearly an offensive-minded player. Durability has been the issue with him thus far: suffered a significant ankle injury in his final junior season, then missed eight weeks of his rookie AHL campaign with a fractured wrist. Needs to prove he can handle the grind without being on IR. Even with the lost games, still scored 21 goals as a first year pro.


Intangibles: Sauve may have the most underrated hockey IQ of any prospect in Boston's system; simply did not get enough credit for his vision, puck distribution and ability to see things opening up beforehand. Son of J.F. Sauve, former NHL and longtime pro (Max was born in France while his dad was playing overseas) and nephew of longtime NHL goalie Bob Sauve. Cousin, Philippe, was an NHL goaltender with the Phoenix Coyotes and had a cup of coffee with the Bruins in 2007. As such, Max grew up around pro hockey and not only understands the requirements, but has the discipline to mold himself into a player. Quiet, shy player who is not yet comfortable with the spotlight, but is getting there.


2011 Development Camp assessment
Did not attend


Projection
If he continues to develop as expected, Sauve could eventually become a top-six forward, but realistically, he's going to have to make his bones on the third- or fourth lines initially if he can crack the Boston roster. Given his excellent skill set and hockey intellect, he could earn some time on the power play and penalty killing units. Has the speed and moxie to do it at both ends of the ice. Probably a second- or third-line winger, but does have a higher ceiling than fellow Quebec prospect Jordan Caron in our view. Sauve is a player who has the speed, hands and sense to be a going concern and when you think about the matchup nightmares he could one day pose if he's skating on a line with Tyler Seguin or perhaps Alexander Khokhlachev or Ryan Spooner, it brings his potential more into perspective. Sauve got lost in the shuffle in junior a bit because he played on such a bad team. Look for Sauve to make his NHL debut this season as an injury fill-in, though he does have a shot at winning a spot in Boston out of camp. Realistically, he will likely benefit from another year in Providence and should be ready for full-time NHL duty in 2012-13.

Quotable

"I’m a playmaker; I make some plays and score some goals. I’m not 100 percent right now, but I skate fast and am working on it every day.”- Sauve to hj.com; April, 2010

"Max has not looked out of place in this, his first taste of pro hockey. His speed is a real asset, and when you consider that he's not fully 100 percent yet, you can start to gain an appreciation for just how quick he is when completely healthy. I think he's benfited from getting into the games and now has a better understanding for what is expected of him at this level and the next."- Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray to hockeyjournal.com; April, 2010

"Sauve looked real good when I saw him. He used his speed well, attacked the net and has a real nose for the net. He's still getting knocked off the puck too easily, but there is some upside with this kid."- NHL scout to B2011DW; April, 2011

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