Three Winnipeg IICE’s dreams came true this weekend at the NHL Draft.
It started on Friday. Rocking a custom tiger suit, Matthew Savoie strutted across the Bell Centre and shook hands with his new management team of the Buffalo Sabres. Savoie was the second WHL player taken in this year’s draft after Kevin Korchinski was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. Savoie was the highest draft pick in Winnipeg ICE history and the second highest in ICE franchise history. Sam Reinhart was picked 2nd overall in 2014 by the same Buffalo Sabres.
Savoie will already have one familiar face on the team. Former roommate and former ICE Peyton Krebs joined the Sabres when Vegas acquired Jack Eichel.
It didn’t take long for the next Winnipeg ICE player to go. The Arizona Coyotes traded up to 11 to make sure they got Conor Geekie with their second pick of the first round. The Coyotes had selected Logan Cooley with the third overall pick early in the draft.
Geekie also had a memorable walk. Wearing a Sportsnet microphone, he talked to David Amber and stumbled on the stairs towards the matching blue suit Arizona Coyotes management team.
Conor already has a family member in the NHL. His brother Morgan plays with the Seattle Kraken. Conor is the second-highest Winnipeg ICE player draft pick in history and third-highest in franchise history.
On Friday, it was Mikey Milne’s turn. Milne was selected in the third round, 89th overall, by the Minnesota Wild. Milne will also have a familiar face at his camp as former teammate Carson Lambos was selected in the first round, 26th overall in the 2021 Entry Draft.
The three draft picks from the ICE were the most since four were taken in 2014. That year, Reinhart to Buffalo, Rinat Vailev was picked in the third round, 68th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jaedon Dascheneau in the fifth round, 124th overall by the St.Louis Blues and Tanner Faith in the fifth round, 139th overall by the Minnesota Wild. It was a proud day for ICE fans and management and will not soon be forgotten.