2006-07: Yann Sauve began his major junior career with 60 solid games and 15 points with the Saint John Sea Dogs. His performance made him an early candidate to be a first rounder in the follow year’s NHL draft.
2007-08: A somewhat disappointing season for Sauve where he did not develop as much as hoped. He did increase his point production to 21 games in 69 games but his overall game’s progression was not to the level expected of him. His draft position fell as a result and the Canucks ended up selecting him 41st overall.
2008-09: Sauve had a nondescript third season for the QMJHL's middle-of-the-pack Saint John Sea Dogs. In 61 games he was -4 and scored 5 goals. Sauve was second amongst Sea Dogs' defensemen with 25 assists and had 64 PMs. The Sea Dogs were swept by Cape Breton in the first round of the playoffs and in four games Sauve was -1 with 2 assists and 8 PMs.
2009-10: Sauve was one of three talented defensemen that accounted for much of the success for Saint John as the Sea Dogs finished with the league's top record during the regular season and advanced to the QMJHL playoff finals. Playing on a defense corps that included Penguins' prospect Simon Despres and 2011 NHL Draft-eligible Nathan Beaulieu, Sauve finished with the team's third-best plus/minus (+42) and scored 7 goals with 29 assists and 42 PMs. The Sea Dogs won 53 of 68 games during the regular season. In 21 playoff games Sauve scored 5 goals with 10 assists and was -2 with 36 PMs. The Sea Dogs fell to Moncton in a six-game final series.
2010-11: Sauve made his NHL debut in February 2011 and appeared in five games with the Canucks during two call-ups after spending time in the ECHL earlier in the season. Sauve was -2 with no points nor penalties; averaging 13 minutes of ice time during his brief stint with Vancouver. Sauve began his first pro season with the Canucks' AHL affiliate Manitoba and after an eight-game stint with the ECHL's Victoria Salmon Kings in November and December spent the bulk of the season with the Moose. In 39 games with Manitoba he scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was +5 with 24 PMs. He played in 13 of 14 playoff games as the Moose reached the second round and was -2 with 1 assist and 4 PMs. In eight games with the Salmon Kings he was -2 and had 2 assists with 4 PMs.
2011-12: Sauve spent his entire second pro season with Vancouver AHL affiliate Chicago after seeing time in the NHL with the Canucks the previous season. He was the leader in penalty minutes amongst Wolves defensemen with 78 in 73 games and was plus-six with 3 goals and 6 assists. The Wolves finished first in the Midwest Division and lost to San Antonio in overtime of the decisive fifth game in their first round series with the Rampage. Sauve played in 3 of 5 games during the playoff series and was plus-one with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Caught in a numbers game due to the presence of several AHL veteran defensemen with Vancouver's AHL affiliate in Chicago, Sauve split the season between the Wolves and the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings. In 17 AHL games with Chicago he was +2 with 2 assists and 10 penalty minutes. The Wolves were fourth in the Midwest Division and missed the AHL playoffs. Sauve scored 10 goals with 9 assists in 32 games with Kalamazoo and was +2 with 40 penalty minutes. The Wings finished four points behind Greenville for the final playoff spot. Sauve was re-signed by Vancouver to a one-year contract as a restricted free agent in July of 2013.
Originally expected to be a two-way defenseman with good size and skating, Sauve’s offensive game has not developed as fast as the rest of his skills. Sauve is a big, mean defender in his own zone who is physically strong and good positionally. However, he tends to get into trouble when he has the puck. His puck-handling skills could use some improvement and his decision making with the puck is generally poor. Right now he is on track to become a one-dimensional defensive d-man. The Canucks hope the other facets of his game can evolve over time.
Sauve signed a one-year, two way deal with the Canucks that will see him start the season with the Utica Comets. Sauve tweeted to Canucks fans about how pumped he was to get the extension, and will no doubt be motivated by the terms of the deal to try and make the parent club.