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Juraj Slafkovsky at Laval: with a regular training camp, don’t rule it out

Juraj Slafkovsky with the Rocket… We haven’t discussed this possibility much, if at all. After all, it’s rare for a player selected first overall in a draft not to play in the NHL in his second season.

However, his place in the Tricolore line-up on October 11 is by no means assured. Far from it, in fact.

My colleague, Charles-Alexis Brisebois, was talking about how difficult it will be for Martin St-Louis to give him playing time. The Slovak will have to force the hand of his coaches.

But the possibility of seeing him in Laval at the start of the season is just as real. If he has an ordinary training camp, Martin McGuire, who has absolutely nothing against the player by the way, would have no problem seeing her down there. That’s what he told Louis Jean, the brand-new host of 98.5 Sports.

Jean-François Bernier of the Journal de Québec also discussed the possibility a few days ago.

Healthy and 100%, Slafkovsky has everything it takes to have a solid training camp and become the player management is hoping for. But as McGuire pointed out, players of his size can take time to develop.

Louis Jean’s guest gave the example of Chris Kreider, who took a few years to become the player he is today. And honestly, if Slaf becomes a Kreider – minus the attacks on goalies – I’d be very happy.

I’m sure the coaches will give their striker every opportunity in the world to shine, but it’s up to him to seize it.

There’s a misconception among fans that sending a guy to the AHL is a disservice to the player concerned. Maybe to a veteran, but not to a youngster. With the Rocket, the team’s former first-round pick would play on the top two threes, get some playing time on the power play and have some good young teammates who also want to prove themselves. It would be really interesting to see him under Jean-François Houle.

But once again, if he has a good camp, he’ll stay in Montreal and he won’t have stolen his place. In the end, that’s what we hope for him.

In gusto

– Canada in Toronto.

– Andrew Ladd hangs up his skates.

– Maybe he’ll have a chance to win after all.

– A bit of movement in the NHL.

– And the penalty afterwards.

– Nice win.

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