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Worlds: Juraj Slafkovský produced more than Adam Fantilli and Leo Carlsson

Last year, the Canadiens inherited the first pick in the draft held at the Bell Centre. Shane Wright was the favorite to be selected by the Tricolore, but in the end, Juraj Slafkovský was chosen by the Montreal organization.

And there was a lot of talk about it at the time.

That said, Slafkovský had benefited from his performances on the international scene. At the Olympic Games, he scored seven goals in seven games, and at the World Championship, he collected three goals and nine points in eight games.

For a youngster just 18, that was an impressive haul.

And when you look at what the top 2023 prospects are doing at this year’s tournament, Slafkovský has nothing to envy them. In three games (each), Adam Fantilli has just two points (two assists), while Leo Carlsson has just one point, one goal.

Fantilli and Carlsson’s game totals are not up to date (they played today, so they’ve played a total of six games between them), but the stats remain the same.

That said, it’s important to point out that the three youngsters didn’t have the same role within their clubs. Slaf has had greater offensive responsibilities than the other two, who don’t have the responsibility of handling all the offensive production of theirs.

Nevertheless, when you look at these figures, one thing becomes clear: Slafkovský is also a top-quality prospect with the potential to be a big part of a team’s top-6.

I’m not saying that I’d prefer him to Fantilli and Carlsson, but that we shouldn’t underestimate him simply because he’s no longer the flavor of the day (or because he’s not Connor Bedard).

In reality, there’s still work to be done for Slaf to become the big, talented power forward he has the potential to be. Anthony Martineau was back on the subject today.

That said, Slafkovský’s production on the international scene is encouraging and has nothing to envy to guys like Fantilli and Carlsson, big prospects at the next draft. And that’s not meant as a dig at them, but as a vote of confidence in Slafkovský as a high-caliber prospect.

We’ll see if Slafkovský can have a big second season in North America, but I’m confident in the youngster’s potential. And if it takes a little longer for him to reach his full potential, so be it: he’s already proven himself on the international scene, and I’m confident he’ll be able to translate that to the NHL one day.

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