SHERWOOD PARK, AB: The Sherwood Park Crusaders are proud to announce the selections of defenceman Michael Benning (95th overall, Florida Panthers) and forward Carter Savoie (100th overall, Edmonton Oilers) in the 2020 NHL Draft.
“Congrats to both Carter and Mike on being drafted today,” commented Crusaders head coach Adam Manah. “What a huge honour it is for both of them to represent their families and as former Sherwood Park Crusaders. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments to this point as they have earned this terrific opportunity. Both should be commended on how hard they have worked and how bright the future looks for them moving forward. We are truly grateful to have both players be a part of our organization for the past two seasons. Congratulations to the Savoie and Benning families!”
“We are extremely proud of Carter and Mike and wish them the best of luck with both organizations,” added Crusaders GM Kyle Chase. “The Crusaders organization would not be where it is today without the likes of players and people like those two! I would like to congratulate both young men and their families on this accomplishment and wish them the best in their future.”
Both Savoie and Benning were instrumental in the Crusaders record-setting 2019/2020 campaign. The pair were both featured in last season’s CJHL Top Prospects Game, with each also taking part in the World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek.
While the two experienced considerable success as a duo, neither were lacking in individual accolades. Benning was dominant through the 2019/2020 season. Last year, the St. Albert native was named the CJHL’s top defenceman following a historic AJHL campaign. Not only did Benning lead all AJHL defenders in scoring, but his 75 points were enough to tie him with Dennis Cesana and 2020 Calder Trophy winner Cale Makar as the most by a defenceman since 1992. Savoie, too, put up a remarkable campaign, picking up 53 goals in 54 games and finishing second in league scoring behind teammate Arjun Atwal. Savoie also led the league in game-winning goals with 14, the highest single-season total since 2007/2008.
The pair become the 9th and 10th Crusaders to hear their names called at the NHL Draft, and the second straight in which a Crusader has been selected.
Both Benning and Savoie are committed to the University of Denver (NCAA) for the 2020/2021 campaign.