Montreal Canadiens Draft Juraj Slafkovsky 1st Overall

With the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens have selected Juraj Slafkovsky from TPS Turku of SM-Liiga

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Tracker

About Juraj Slafkovsky

Leading the charge of Slovak prospects in this draft class, Juraj Slafkovsky is a dynamic power forward who brings the combination of size and skill that so many NHL scouts drool over. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, Slafkovsky tallied 10 points in 31 games for TPS of Finland’s SM-Liiga. However, perhaps his most impressive display was his performance at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, where he scored seven goals in seven games en route to a bronze medal for Slovakia and tournament MVP honours.

THW Prospect Profile Excerpt

“He has the potential to grow into a legitimate power forward by definition with his high-end offensive skill and his ability to engage in a big way physically. Call it a mean streak, but Slafkovsky’s size and physical edge makes him arguably one of the more dominant players in this draft — especially coming right out of the draft.

Juraj Slafkovsky Team Slovakia
Juraj Slafkovsky Team Slovakia (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

“While the Olympics may have been a short tournament and we can’t solely base our analysis on those games, Slafkovsky’s maturity in his game was overwhelming not to mention it. His strength and puck-protection were well beyond his years and while there are some small areas that will progress with big-league development, Slafkovsky’s stock jumped with his play this season.

Full player profile can be found here

How This Affects the Canadiens’ Plans

The Canadiens kicked off the draft with a bang with the selection of Slafkovsky. While there really wasn’t a surefire projected first-overall pick, it was heavily speculated among fans and scouts that the Canadiens would take the centre in Shane Wright. Nevertheless, Slafkovsky is a high-octane winger that will win Canadiens’ faithful over quickly. His combination of size, skill, and speed is something that NHL coaches dream of having on their team, and he could make a legitimate case to jump right into the NHL and slide into a top-six role for the club.

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