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After 92 NHL games, Slaf’s stats are the same as Jack Hughes’.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Juraj Slafkovsky’s name is on the lips of every fan in Montreal.

The young man, who had a strong game against the Ducks last night, is really starting to gain confidence…

And that’s why there are so many positive comments about him right now.

It’s encouraging because, on the ice, he doesn’t look like the same player he was this time last year.

He’s realized that he can use his body and his skills to control the puck in all three zones of the ice, and to me, that’s the biggest difference.

It comes with time and it comes with confidence. But he seems to have reached that stage in his progression, if his last few games are anything to go by.

I’m not necessarily a fan of the comparison game, but there’s an interesting parallel to be drawn between Slaf’s early career and that of Jack Hughes.

In fact, both guys have the same number of points (37) in their first 92 NHL games, but Slaf has scored one more goal and also has one more man-advantage goal:

Will Slaf become a 100-point player like the Devils? Not necessarily.

But it does remind us of one thing, though. It’s hard, sometimes, to judge the first games of an 18-19-year-old player.

And seeing how Jack Hughes exploded afterwards gives us reason to believe that Slaf is going to become a very, very good hockey player.

Hughes really took off in his third season, when he scored 56 points in 49 games (2021-2022).

That said, the Devils star had respective seasons of 21 points (61 games in 2019-2020) and 31 points (56 games in 2020-2021) to start his career…

And the New Jersey organization still offered him an eight-year contract extension, valued at eight million dollars a year.

Hughes signed his contract at the start of the 2021-2022 season (November 30), the season in which he exploded.

My point in all this is that we may have to start asking questions about Slaf’s next contract.

There’s a clear consensus that it’s too early to offer him an eight-year contract right now, because the young man has “proven” nothing in the NHL so far.

He’s been excellent in his last 20 games… But those 20 games won’t dictate his career.

On the other hand, if Slaf continues to perform the way he has since mid-season, and at the start of the next campaign, we see another marked improvement in his game… That’s when things could get pretty interesting.

And that’s when Kent Hughes might have to pull out the big bucks.

In brief

– Style!

– Sad.

– Great news.

– So much the better, honestly.

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