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Juraj Slafkovsky has no goals in his last 29 games
Juraj Slafkovsky is the talk of the town for all kinds of reasons.

Since being selected first overall in the 2022 draft, the big Slovak has struggled to make his mark in the NHL.

Last year, he collected 10 points, including 4 goals, in 39 games, before being injured for the rest of the season.

Even though he was only 18 years old, many fans became impatient, believing that the Montreal Canadiens should not have selected him.

Yet this pace isn’t all that disastrous for a big-bodied forward of his age.

It’s worth remembering that Leon Draisaitl, who is one of the best in the world right now, wasn’t very productive in his first season.

In fact, his point average is very similar to Slafkovsky’s, as the German collected 9 points in 37 games during his rookie season.

In short, we’ll have to be patient with #20.

First of all, as Jonathan Bernier of the Journal de Montréal reports, Slafkovsky controls the puck much more in offensive territory.

Jonathan Bernier believes that Slafkovsky’s case is not as bad as people think.

What catches the eye, unfortunately, is that Slafkovsky hasn’t scored a goal since 1ᵉʳ December 2022.

That’s 29 games without threading the needle for a first overall pick.

It should be pointed out that his 2022-2023 season ended early, with him being injured on January 15, 2023.

Nonetheless, many expect much more from the Slovak.

On the other hand, if we focus on advanced statistics, Slaf ‘s game has improved since last year.

I’ve noticed that this season, Slafkovsky is definitely dragging his feet less, unlike his rookie season.

He’s much more involved, especially along the boards, and still creates several opportunities.

Unfortunately, he can’t get on the scoresheet, and that may frustrate some.

But again, you have to be patient with the kid.

In Jonathan Bernier’s text, he reports statistics from Sportlogiq, a firm specializing in advanced statistics.

“He could easily have three to five more points if Josh Anderson had been able to capitalize on the chances created by Slafkovsky” – Sportlogiq

Interestingly, Sportlogic reveals that Slafkovsky wins 44.2% of his battles along the ramps. That puts him eighth in the NHL.

So there’s more to Slaf’s game this season than meets the eye.

Of course, it’s far from ideal. We’re all hoping he’ll produce a lot more than that, but he will.

Lately, it’s been a bit more difficult, especially in the last game.

He was falling down regularly, creating turnovers and couldn’t capitalize on the chances he got.

In fact, the Slovakian’s performances have been more difficult since Kirby Dach’s absence.

Since the 22-year-old center has been injured (unfortunately for the rest of the season), Alex Newhook has found himself at Slafkovsky’s center.

Is there a correlation between his recent tougher games and the fact that Newhook is his center?

Perhaps he’s too explosive for him and doesn’t seem to thrive alongside him.

Could Sean Monahan be a better solution at Slafkovsky’s center?

His play is slower and his face-off efficiency, combined with his defensive game, could make Monahan a more enviable option at Slafkovsky’s center.

Otherwise, Martin St-Louis might be tempted to pair him with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield on the first line.

He’s not ruling out this possibility.

Personally, I think we need to see Slaf alongside Ti-Cole and the captain soon.

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