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Juraj Slafkovský: losing weight won’t necessarily help him on the ice

When the Habs drafted Juraj Slafkovský over a year ago, we knew that the young man’s size was something that really interested the club. After all, the young Slovak was already a colossus, standing six feet three inches tall and weighing 238 pounds.

That said, we know that bigger guys often need more time to develop. They have to “become aware” of their bodies, and it can sometimes take a few years before they’re really comfortable.

And last year, Slaf experienced such moments when his body seemed too big for him. That’s all it took for many people to wonder whether he’d have to lose a little weight to be effective in the NHL.

However, according to Nicolas Cloutier (TVA Sports), who spoke to Slaf‘s fitness trainer, losing weight won’t necessarily help the youngster be more explosive on the ice. That’s what he noted on Tony Marinaro’s Sick Podcast.

In fact, as Cloutier explains (based in part on what Slafkovský’s coach Michael Bretenar told him), the young Slovak isn’t in a situation where he has a lot of fat. The bulk of his mass is muscular, and it’s not by losing this that he’ll gain in explosion.

By working on his lung capacity, on the other hand, he’s likely to gain in endurance. And clearly, he’s going to great lengths to achieve this.

And for what it’s worth, I personally don’t think it’s necessarily in the explosion department that Slaf needs to improve. For an 18-year-old, he showed some nice skills at that level last year.

Rather, it’s his balance on skates and his ability to keep his head up while skating that I’d like to see him make gains. The head lift may come with time as he gains confidence in possession of the disc, but there’s still work to be done to maintain his balance.

In drafting Slafkovský, the CH knew it was selecting a guy who was a project, but if he develops well, the Slovak has the potential to become a solid power forward within a few years.

I’m happy to see him working towards his potential, and the CH seems to have identified that his weight isn’t necessarily a problem. Good news, then.

Breaking news

– Interesting news.

With such a young team, yes.

– Signature in Pittsburgh.

– File to follow for the Jays.

– We’ll be treated to quite a final at Wimbledon.

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