It seems that in everyone’s mind, it’s a done deal: Filip Mesar will play for Laval in 2023-2024. Since the main interested party declared that he expects to play for the Rocket next season, it seems that other scenarios have been quickly dismissed.
Just because the plan is for him to live with Juraj Slafkovsky and because the young man wants to audition in Montreal, it doesn’t mean that suddenly, as if by magic, he can’t return to Ontario (OHL) for another year.
Anthony Marcotte is the first to say it: he doesn’t see Mesar in Laval this year. Not only will there be plenty of youngsters in town, but Mesar didn’t exactly dominate in junior.
What’s interesting is that the Sick Podcast version of Recrutes Draftcast, which is run by Grant McCagg and Shayne Gaumond, allowed us to learn more about Mesar.
From the outset, Meagher states that he would prefer to see Mesar return to junior. We know that’s not what he wants, having played pro in Europe before coming here, but what the heck.
Why is the coach saying this? Because he’s got things to work on.
From the outset, it’s clear that the club in Kitchener was badly run. Before the change of guard (which included the arrival of Mike McKenzie, Bob’s son), you could sense that Meagher didn’t like the way the players were being developed.
Mistakes were repeated and he lacked accountability, which suggests that if Mesar were to turn pro, he could take advantage of the Rocket’s coaching staff.
In fact, it took until the playoffs. He didn’t play badly in the playoffs (even if he didn’t produce to his full potential), but in the heart of the season, it was difficult.
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One thing we’ve noticed is that he once played in a league where his speed could help him. Last year, in the OHL, he sometimes slowed down and fell because guys are trained to take advantage of moments of hesitation in a guy’s game.
So he still needs to position himself better on the ice. According to the coach, this is something he needs to master before going pro. That way, he’ll lose possession of the puck less often.
Basically, Meagher wants to see him break his bad habits on the ice, and he doesn’t think Laval is the place to do it. He needs to do a better job of folding up defensively, for example.
Would a year in Europe be ideal? You have to wonder… especially knowing that the guy won’t be happy if he doesn’t play pro next year.
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