The Winnipeg ICE Hockey Club announced on Thursday that forward Matthew Savoie has signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the organization.

Savoie, 15, was the first overall selection in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. Hockey Canada turned down a request by Savoie in March for exceptional status that would have allowed him to play in the WHL next season as an underage player. He will be eligible to play only five games in the WHL next season and is committed to the University of Denver for the 2021-22 season.

Savoie will be eligible for the NHL Draft in 2022.

"Today is an exciting day for the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg ICE franchise," said Matt Cockell, President and General Manager in a statement. "Matt is an elite player and we are excited that he has chosen the WHL and Winnipeg ICE to continue his development."

Savoie played in 31 regular season games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) last season, scoring 31 goals and tallying 71 points. He added three goals and 12 points in five playoff games helping NAX capture a league championship and also received the Midget Prep Division MVP Award.

Savoie played for Team Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, scoring six goals and tallying 13 points to help Alberta win a bronze medal. 

The Ice also acquired his 17-year-old brother Carter in a trade with the Regina Pats last month.