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Juraj Slafkovsky: one of the only players his size to play at 18
Juraj Slafkovsky may not have impressed in his NHL debut, but he did a good job. In fact, very few players start playing on the Bettman circuit at the age of 18, and even fewer of his stature do.

In fact, Juraj Slafkovsky finished as the NHL’s 5th highest scorer in 2022-23 among players measuring 6’3″ or more and weighing 235 lbs or more.

Still, there were some excellent players in front of him, which didn’t help his cause. We’re talking about Alex Ovechkin and Anders Lee, who all have a big impact on their respective lineups. Nick Ritchie and Milan Lucic are the other two ahead of him with many more games played.

On top of that, he only played 39 games in 2022-23, as his season was hampered by injury. Had he played the entire season, I’m willing to bet he would have finished third on this list.

As we said, Slafkovsky’s age is an important factor in his performance. Playing at 18 is exceptional and very difficult to adapt to. With more playing time, it’s certain that he’ll be able to join the best.

In fact, if we look at the statistics of all the players on this list at the age of 18, we get a completely different result.

None of these players began their careers before the age of 19, with the exception of Slafkovsky. Ovechkin would have played at 18 if not for the lockout, but we all know that the CH prospect will probably never reach the legendary prowess of number 8.

It just goes to show that Slafkovsky’s 10 points are already more than many players of his size at 18, and that he needs time to adjust.

The best example is Joe Thornton, who scored just 7 points in 55 games in his rookie season at 18. 7!!!!

He still had a career worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

So stop judging players in their rookie season, especially when they’re 18! Juraj Slafkovsky should be back with the Habs next season, and I’m willing to bet he’ll have a much bigger impact.

In gusto

– Martin Brodeur’s son imitates his father.

– It’s surprising given the amount of money on the table.

– Nice way to get back on track.

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