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Juraj Slafkovsky


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1 hour ago, electron58 said:

As a Hab diehard, I will definitely cheer for him. Hopefully we can get rid of some dead weight & sign him asap. Do we even have room yet? We still have to sign Dach, and there wasn't any room to sign RoManov.

I think we're fine with room (can go 10% over cap in off-season), although may need to trim to start the season if Price is healthy.

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I will say this, the kid looks like he'll be easy to cheer for... he looks like he's got a lot of enthusiasm for the game and enjoys getting the crowd into it and playing hard. I think all those things will endear him to fans. Just need to see if there will be results that come with it. I enjoy watching Anderson play too. Like Slafkovsky, he's a big guy who can skate, hit, and score, and he gives a consistent effort. But Anderson is not a 1st overall pick, and Slafkovsky, we can be sure, will be judged by Montreal fans as to whether he lives up to his hype or not. The standard for people approving him is going to be higher than that held for Josh Anderson. So let's see if he can deliver.

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8 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

It might make sense for him to spend another year playing over seas or going to the AHL a year. Give him a chance to adapt to playing in North America against full AHL/NHL talent. Not like the weaker Olympics. 

Yeah. I am fine with him to be in the NHL or Laval. I honestly think he'll surprise us and make the NHL team.

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1 hour ago, CaptWelly said:

It might make sense for him to spend another year playing over seas or going to the AHL a year. Give him a chance to adapt to playing in North America against full AHL/NHL talent. Not like the weaker Olympics. 

Given that many are upset we passed on Wright (and I agree we should have passed, there's a reason he slipped to 4th) ... I suspect management hopes he can make the team out of camp have an impact and get the detractors on his side instead.

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5 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

Given that many are upset we passed on Wright (and I agree we should have passed, there's a reason he slipped to 4th) ... I suspect management hopes he can make the team out of camp have an impact and get the detractors on his side instead.

Yeah, that's probably the route they're envisioning for him. Given that we're in no hurry to win this season as we won't be able to contend anyway, I'd much rather avoid repeating past mistakes and not rush the kid if he's not fully ready. Based on what I've seen and read, scouts and experts seem to think his style is actually more suited to the smaller ice. Nothing wrong with him at least starting the year in the AHL to learn the ropes. If he blows people away and starts turning heads at camp, sure, keep him up by all means. But let's not do it to prove a point, I'd prefer a more cautious approach here.

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3 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Yeah, that's probably the route they're envisioning for him. Given that we're in no hurry to win this season as we won't be able to contend anyway, I'd much rather avoid repeating past mistakes and not rush the kid if he's not fully ready. Based on what I've seen and read, scouts and experts seem to think his style is actually more suited to the smaller ice. Nothing wrong with him at least starting the year in the AHL to learn the ropes. If he blows people away and starts turning heads at camp, sure, keep him up by all means. But let's not do it to prove a point, I'd prefer a more cautious approach here.

There's some risk either way because if he doesn't perform right away, there are going to be questions. In some ways, it may be better for the Habs to send him to the AHL and try to let him have as much success as possible early. If he's that good, he should dominate there. The knock on Slafkovsky was that he didn't produce in league play so if he can go to the AHL and score goals there, it will do a lot to overturn that sentiment as well, maybe without the same quality of opposition. I'm not sure what Mesar's status is but know he too indicated he was planning on going to North America, it might also ease the transition if the two are able to play in Laval together.

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Some random thoughts 

 

https://awinninghabit.com/2022/07/09/montreal-canadiens-case-juraj-slafkovsky-first-overall/

Montreal Canadiens: The Case For Juraj Slafkovsky At 1st Overall

 

The Montreal Canadiens selected Shane Wright Juraj Slafkovsky with the first overall pick of the NHL 2022 entry draft. Not the most popular pick,  although I am sure there will be some that will claim to have sung his praises since Day 1. I am not one of those people.

I have been vocal in my thinking that Shane Wright should have been taken first overall. Imagine my surprise that he fell all the way down to 4th to the Seattle Kraken. But that doesn’t mean that I am blind to the skills that Slafkovsky brings to the table

Because so often in these situations of moving pieces in trades or drafts there has to be a winner and/or a loser. Is Montreal a winner or a loser for drafting Slafkovsky first overall? Depends on your point of view, I guess. But it can be difficult to see that the Canadiens just added a very interesting piece to their prospect system.

It is easy to see Slafkovsky becoming the best player in this draft class in five years. It is also easy to see Wright being the best player. Maybe even Logan Cooley or Simon Nemec. We can sometimes be so blinded by our own biases to a certain outcome that we cannot see the good in another.

Was Wright the best pick in the draft? In many people’s eyes, yes. I am not going to grandstand here and pretend like I know more than at least three different NHL scouting teams, because I do not. They must have seen something that I missed.

But the point of this is not to compare Wright and Slafkovsky, there will be time for that in the coming years, but just to look at what the Canadiens got in their new Slovakian first overall pick: Juraj Slafkovsky.

The Good

Juraj Slafkovsky is a good hockey player. Maybe even a great one if everything falls into place correctly. And on a young, exciting team like the Montreal Canadiens, there is a good chance that it could.

If there is a good comparable to Juraj Slafkovsky in the NHL, it might be Evgeni Malkin. Malkin is 6’3″, nearly 200 pound European that went very high in his draft class (2nd overall in 2004 behind Alex Ovechkin). Malkin is a centre, where Slafkovsky is a winger, but Malkin excels at using his large frame to his advantage, as well as possessing a large amount of skill.

Like Malkin, Slafkovsky isn’t just a big body on a set of long legs. A lot of his highlights showcase his stickhandling skills and a sneaky good shot. His body just allows him to muscle his way into the middle of the ice, where he can put those hands to work.

His mentality also seems like a strong point. First of all, he is a magnetic personality off of the ice. Already he is warming on fans that were cold to him to begin with, and he will at least give us some good soundbites in his career.

But this could also help Slafkovsky out on the ice. If there is still a big pushback on his selection come the new season, I am certain that will put a big chip on his shoulder. He also seems like the type of player that will thrive in the high intensity and scrutiny of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Bad

Juraj Slafkovsky’s rise in this year’s draft was meteoric. In Bob McKenzie’s mid season draft rankings, Shane Wright was still ranked at #1, and Slafkovsky was ranked #5, below real #3 pick Logan Cooley, Joakim Kemell who went 17th, and Matthew Savoie who ended up 9th. To be fair, Simon Nemec was taken by the New Jersey Devils at 2nd, and he was ranked down at 9th.

igh risers in such a short time are dangerous. Remember when Johnathan Cheechoo scored 56 goals in a season and won the Rocket Richard trophy? That is just under 32% of his 170 career goals in 1 year. 54% if you include his goals in the next year.

If you just watched the NHL in the 2005-06 season, you would think Cheechoo is an offensive dynamo and star, not a flash in the pan. The smaller the time frame you are good in, the more likely it is that you are a fluke.

Slafkovsky did not have the greatest start to the year, and struggled to put up dominant offensive numbers in Liiga, a men’s league. He dominated the under-18 and under-20 Finnish leagues, but scored just 5 goals and 10 points in 31 games. But he did fair better in the playoffs with 2 goals and 7 points in 18 playoff games.

And then Slafkovsky went off in the Olympics. 7 goals in 7 games, as the youngest player in the tournament and the youngest player to score a goal in the Olympics since Eddie Olczyk.

Above is obviously the breakdown of points in his great Men’s World Championship outing. Unfortunately, as pointed out in the thread, all of the points Slafkovsky scored were against non-NHL level goaltending. Against Phillip Grubauer, he registered no points.

That isn’t the best sign. But it is also a small sample size. When people are talking about Slafkovsky’s domination of the Olympics and the World Championships, we are talking about 15 games. Does that erase the 31 games beforehand?

There are definitely good things to be had in Slafkovsky’s game, but it is a question mark as to whether that is sustainable and transferrable to the NHL level.

A True Power Forward?

The Montreal Canadiens do currently have a power forward in Josh Anderson (who has since been brought to the top of trade watch since the draft), so what exactly does this mean?

It means that Juraj Slafkovsky is the player that the Montreal Canadiens have been looking to draft for years.

Because Josh Anderson was not a Montreal Canadiens draft pick. He was traded to the team for Max Domi and a third round pick. He is now in his prime where most of Montreal’s team capital are in young players like Suzuki, Caufield, Guhle and now Slafkovsky.

Because one thing that power forwards do not age gracefully. The physicality that brings so much effectiveness to their games wears down the body, and unfortunately, that can spell the end of their usefulness at the NHL level.

And the Montreal Canadiens have been in dire need, or at least they believe that they are in a dire need for a big strong player. It seems like the Montreal Canadiens have had struggles being big and strong, always putting together forward corps that emphasize speed, skill and heart.

And in the 2000s to early 2010s, that was not the best game plan. You would be decimated along the boards by the L.A. Kings, no question. But now, the game has transitioned completely to a game of speed and skill, with physical attributes being important, but not as game breaking as it has been in the past.

Good thing that Slafkovsky excels at both. Slafkovsky is great where Anderson can stumble. Anderson is quicker, but struggles to have his hands keep up with his feet. So many times Anderson gets around a defender but gets too close to the goalie or skating too quick to do anything really dangerous.

Slafkovsky has really great hands and shot, but can learn from Anderson on how to use his size and stature to his advantage. There is legitimate top line upside for Slafkovsky, more than Anderson at this point for sure. Time will tell. Its too early to tell now, but its too early to judge.

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16 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

It might make sense for him to spend another year playing over seas or going to the AHL a year. Give him a chance to adapt to playing in North America against full AHL/NHL talent. Not like the weaker Olympics. 

For sure.  Unless he wows them at camp, starting him in Laval for 10-20 games would be beneficial.

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  • 3 weeks later...

46 minutes long but I made the time 

impressions

1) Based on character / organizational cultural need/fit,  you can understand why HuGo and mgmt chose Slaf - certainly refreshing- let’s hope that is coupled with on ice skills and success

2) Wright does come off as a little flippant - didn’t strike me as the most intelligent dude

3) Coyotes War room - what a massive army of scouts and talking heads in their room - makes me wonder if they really know what they are doing by ripping that team to the ground in their rebuild. Literally not much leadership with GM Bill Armstrong a career minor leaguer. Sometimes the best coaches are guys that had to work their talent - I’m not sure about Armstrong who got lucky imo with some blues draft picks including Binnington when he was a scout and assistant GM. I’ll be curious about their ability to develop players. 

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Like most here I did not want to draft Slaf.  I wanted Wright > Nemec > Cooley > Slaf.   but, ive always maintained that our decisions are only based on part of the information. The fact Wright fell so far tells me there was more to it than any of us knew.  

I still think i would have taken Nemec (or Cooley) over Slaf but im guessing there's compelling reasons why management went the way they did.   After the initial shock, im more than happy to be "Team Juraj" and hope he blows us away with his skills. 

I suspect he plays (and stays) in Montreal all year and i think he will do very very well on this roster.  Im really curious to see where they slot him in. I think they keep him away from Suzuki & his defensive assignments (for now at least). I could see him lining up next to Dach or Dvorak depending upon which way they go.  I feel like Gallagher may be the perfect winger on the other side to compliment JS's skillset. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Like most here I did not want to draft Slaf.  I wanted Wright > Nemec > Cooley > Slaf.   but, ive always maintained that our decisions are only based on part of the information. The fact Wright fell so far tells me there was more to it than any of us knew.  

I still think i would have taken Nemec (or Cooley) over Slaf but im guessing there's compelling reasons why management went the way they did.   After the initial shock, im more than happy to be "Team Juraj" and hope he blows us away with his skills. 

I suspect he plays (and stays) in Montreal all year and i think he will do very very well on this roster.  Im really curious to see where they slot him in. I think they keep him away from Suzuki & his defensive assignments (for now at least). I could see him lining up next to Dach or Dvorak depending upon which way they go.  I feel like Gallagher may be the perfect winger on the other side to compliment JS's skillset. 

It'll definitely be interesting to see where he plays. I'm leaning a little more towards him starting in Laval, since it'll be an easier adjustment. We don't really need him to catch fire in the NHL right away, so I'm thinking a slow and steady approach might be best. See how he performs in Laval, and call him up when the injury bug bites.

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1 minute ago, jennifer_rocket said:

It'll definitely be interesting to see where he plays. I'm leaning a little more towards him starting in Laval, since it'll be an easier adjustment. We don't really need him to catch fire in the NHL right away, so I'm thinking a slow and steady approach might be best. See how he performs in Laval, and call him up when the injury bug bites.

Yeah im totally not opposed to that, I just have this suspicion he's going to come out flying & will be impossible to send down.  I dont think this is another JK situation, im pretty sure this kid is ready - but if he's not, im certainly all for time (or even the whole year) in the minors. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's been some rumblings that the development team for the habs think that Slaf may actually be suited to being a centre. Ive read this a few places and this is an interesting tidbit:

Slafkovsky is a multi-tool threat from the wing, although a peek at his production and puck domination supports the idea that he can play center as well. Slafkovsky has produced more assists than goals by a 2-to-1 margin against each of the junior, senior, and international levels of draft-year competition. His skill set is diverse enough where he can pump seven to 10 shot attempts in one game, then deliver three primary assists the next. This kind of versatility helps explain his occasional usage as a point man on the power play, but one mustn’t overlook Slafkovsky’s goal-scoring prowess. He can create his own shot, unleash a deadly backhander to roof pucks from in tight, and jam the net-front area for deflection or rebounds. Slafkovsky also isn’t shy towards using the slapper and he will pick the corners from sharp angles as low as the goal line.

Whole article is here: https://www.thedraftanalyst.com/2022-nhl-draft/2022-draft-profile-lw-juraj-slafkovsky/. Interesting read. 

 

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Marion Gaborik

https://www.nhl.com/canadiens/news/guidance-from-a-countryman/c-335174658

 

"Juraj is ready to go. He can be the difference. He can play on any line. He'll be able to make players around him better wherever he plays, and he's an all-situation guy," praised Gaborik. "He's going to be an all-around player and he's going to score a lot of goals. He'll be a powerful force."

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On 8/10/2022 at 1:26 PM, maas_art said:

Love this comment from Mysak:


"I played whole year against Shane Wright so for me personally, if I would be GM I would take Slafkovsky too"
"Jan Myšák on Canadiens drafting Juraj Slafkovsky first overall

:4224:

And people thought Wright was cocky, not seeing much difference.

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33 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

And people thought Wright was cocky, not seeing much difference.

That was Mysak saying that about Wright. Not Slaf saying it about himself, lol. 

Slaf is confident but Ive never heard him say something like "I deserve to be #1 because..." or "1st overall is my destiny" like Wright did.

There's confidence & there's cocky. Wright is definitely the latter.  Now, that wouldn't necessarily dissuade me from picking him - some great players have been very cocky, but I dont think thats a moniker you can put on Slaf, based on anything he's said publicly. 

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