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Juraj Slafkovsky: points don’t matter in 23-24
Juraj Slafkovsky now has an NHL season under his belt.

It wasn’t a full season, as he played only 39 games in 22-23. His campaign was cut short by a lower-body injury, but he was still able to gobble up experience by being around the club.

The young man feels in great shape right now and has worked hard this summer to be ready for the CH training camp. He’ll obviously be one of the players to watch in Montreal in the coming weeks… for obvious reasons.

Firstly, we all want to see if his injury still makes him uncomfortable… And secondly, we all want to follow his progression curve. That’s the case for all the club’s other prospects… But it’s even truer in his case because we’re talking about a first overall pick.

The question on everyone’s lips at the moment is this.

“What can we expect from him next season?

ESPN predicts a 55-point season…

The NHL website sees him finishing the year with 46 points…

Georges Laraque is (quite) more realistic and has set a target of 30 points…

But I’d like to tell you that it doesn’t matter. We don’t give a damn about his production. As long as he progresses and shows signs of improvement and consistency on the ice…

I have no problem with that. He has what it takes to become an NHL impact player… But there’s no rush right now.

I want to see him create scoring chances. I want to see him involved in every aspect of the game. I want him to…

You get the message. But most of all… I’d like to see him trust his shot, because he’s got a good one :

In 22-23, Slaf averaged around one shot per game (42 shots over 39 games played).

That said, we’re talking about a kid who loves to score goals… But who may have been playing with his butt a little too tight on the ice in his first NHL season.

Should we hold that against him? Of course not. These are things you learn over time, and they come with experience.

He often seemed to have his head all over the ice, and that’s normal because of the speed of the game. It’s often said, but it’s not the same, playing on smaller rinks… And that comes into play too.

The important thing for Slaf next season is not to score points by the ton. He’s got to keep learning, and we saw how much he’d already progressed before he got injured last year.

Martin St-Louis will have to find a way to give him an important role, because that’s when he’ll become a better field hockey player. It will be difficult, as my colleague Charles-Alexis Brisebois recently explained…

But it’s still important.


– Nice line-up.

– It’s coming!

– A great experience for both players.

– Machine.

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