SAUVE TO MAKE NHL DEBUT
Feb 15, 2011
Share this with your friends!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
SAINT PAUL, MINN. – After nearly six years of developing young hockey players, tonight will be a proud moment for the entire Saint John Sea Dogs organization as Yann Sauve makes his NHL debut.
The Vancouver Canucks have called Sauve up from their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, and he’s expected to be in the lineup when the Canucks visit the Minnesota Wild at 9 p.m. Atlantic Time.
The six-foot-three, 209-pound defenseman will become the first Sea Dogs product to play a game in the NHL, the ultimate goal for any player when he begins his major junior career.
“Yann is an outstanding hockey player, but more importantly he’s an outstanding young man. He’s a great ambassador for our organization and I’m looking forward to watching him play many more games in the National Hockey League,” said Sea Dogs president Wayne Long.
Sauve was a highly-touted young prospect out of Rigaud, Que., when the Sea Dogs selected him first overall in the 2006 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. The towering rearguard posted two goals and 15 points in his rookie season, then followed up with six goals, 21 points and 92 penalty minutes as a sophomore. Sauve played in 69 of 70 games that season and 14 more in Saint John’s first-ever playoff run, tallying a goal, three points and 23 penalty minutes in the post-season. The Canucks selected him with the 41st
overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft that summer, at that time the highest-ever selection for a Sea Dogs.
“We’re extremely proud of how far Yann has come. To think back to when he arrived here as a 16-year-old and to see his progress to date, that’s what junior hockey is all about,” Long said. “We’re proud when anyone from our organization moves on to the next level, whether it’s in hockey or in life. But there’s something extra special about the NHL. It’s what every kid dreams of, and we hope to see many more of our alumni there in the future.”
Sauve continued to progress in the QMJHL, posting five goals and 30 points in 2008-09, then career highs of seven goals and 36 points last season. He attended Canucks training camp both seasons, and served as a mentor to younger players, passing along his experience and professional attitude.
“He texted me this morning and I was very happy for him and told him to enjoy it,” said Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres. “He’s nervous but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a good game.”
Sauve was an integral part of last year’s team, which won the Jean Rougeau Trophy as regular-season champions of the QMJHL. He suited up for 21 playoff games, tallying five goals and 15 points as the Sea Dogs came within two games of advancing to the Memorial Cup.
“It’s great, I’m very happy for him,” said Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant. “It’s well deserved. He was a Sea Dog for four years and we couldn’t be happier that he’s the first Sea Dog to play in a game.”
After recovering from an injury earlier in the season, Sauve made his professional debut in the minor leagues, playing eight games with the Victoria Salmon Kings and 20 with the Moose before being called up.