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Juraj Slafkovský: already a hero in his hometown

At the 2022 draft, we witnessed an anthology moment for Slovak field hockey, as the first two picks of the auction were born in Slovakia. The CH selected Juraj Slafkovský first and Simon Nemec second.

And let’s not forget Filip Mesar, the other Slovakian drafted in the first round (26th by the Habs).

When you take all this into account, plus Slaf ‘s performances on the international stage (at the Olympic Games, in particular), it’s easy to see why a guy like him is the pride of his homeland.

And as you can read in this Journal de Montréal article, you only have to spend a day in Slaf ‘s hometown to realize that the youngster is already a hero there.

Even if the youngster isn’t quite used to all this yet, it’s not unusual for him to be recognized on the street and for people to ask him for an autograph or a photo. Whether it’s former schoolteachers, Slovak field hockey players or children, Slafkovský is a popular guy around here.

And you don’t have to look any further than his high school, where the youngster is highlighted everywhere, to see just how historic his achievements are in the eyes of Slovakia. A photo of him on the night of his draft is prominently displayed in the entrance hall, along with his other sporting achievements.

Personally, I think it’s great to see how Slaf is already an inspiration in his hometown. It’s still early to tell whether he’ll have a great NHL career, but just seeing him do his hometown proud is inspiring.

Especially since he’s already being seen as the face of advertising campaigns in Slovakia: clearly, he’s already starting to become a role model there.

Just as the Wayne Gretzkys and Sidney Crosbys inspired a ton of young Canadians to play and take an interest in field hockey, Slafkovský is becoming that same kind of inspirational figure for young Slovaks.

And should he establish himself as a top NHL player, he’ll be an even more inspiring role model for them. We certainly hope so.

Breaking news

– A case settled in Boston. All that remains to be seen is the arbitrator’s decision in the case of Jeremy Swayman, but the club has just over $3 million under the salary cap.

– They’re understandable.

– Ouch.

– He’s the big name to watch today at the MLB trade deadline.

– Not to be missed.

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