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Juraj Slafkovsky compared to John LeClair by Stéphane Waite
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

For several weeks now, the Montreal Canadiens’ clearest observation has been Juraj Slafkovsky’s excellent performance.

Indeed, the young Slovakian has been playing some very good hockey since being placed on the first line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

He’s finally showing some encouraging signs of his potential, which reassures Habs fans and excites them about Slafkovsky’s future development.

After a first NHL season in which he seemed lost on the ice, Slafkovsky finally seems to have found his feet, and above all, he seems to have built up a great deal of confidence.

It shows in every game, both in his play and on the scoresheet.

Once again yesterday, Slafkovsky scored a goal (his 10ᵉ of the season), in addition to playing an excellent game overall.

Incidentally, it was a third straight game with at least one goal for Slaf, and a fourth straight game with a point.

Every time he was on the first line, he provoked something and we noticed it, something that didn’t happen very often last season and at the start of the current season.

Let’s just say that we’re looking forward to every appearance from the first trio, especially considering the rest of the line-up.

In short, Slafkovsky is in great shape, and he’s following a fine line of progression, which is prompting many analysts to bring out the comparisons.

In Stéphane Waite’s case, the big Slovak reminds him of John LeClair.

Indeed, that’s what the former Habs goaltending coach said yesterday at l’Antichambre.

Clearly, when you put it that way, the comparison seems logical, given that both are left wingers with big frames.

Both are 6’3″ and both are very heavy (Slafkovsky: 230 lbs, LeClair: 226 lbs).

In short, the numbers are similar, and they’re obviously both power forwards.

However, when you look at LeClair’s career, you quickly realize that this is a very big comparison for Slafkovsky, who is still in his NHL debut.

LeClair has reached the 50-goal plateau in three consecutive seasons, and has scored 90+ points three times as well, with a career-best 97 points.

These are far too big shoes for Slafkovsky to fill right now.

We see great potential in him right now, and we still don’t see a ceiling, but it’s far too early to think that Slaf will ever score 50 goals.

In short, Waite’s comparison is understandable, given the two players’ similar playing styles and virtually identical builds, but for the time being, let’s let Juraj Slafkovsky be Juraj Slafkovsky without comparing him to such big names.

In a gust

– Well said.

– Exactly.

– To be continued.

– To read.

– To follow today.

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