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Juraj Slafkovský: Maxim Lapierre would like the Habs to try him out at center
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

It’s been several weeks now since Juraj Slafkovský really took off in the NHL. The young Slovak, drafted first overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, has been dominant since being placed on the team’s first line, and had another big night last night.

In fact, since the beginning of February, he ranks third in the league in points scored. He’s second only to Connor McDavid… and Nick Suzuki.

Honestly, it’s hard to fault the young Slovak over the past few weeks, because in every area of his game, the improvement has been absolutely meteoric. Very rarely have I seen a youngster develop so much in the middle of the season: it’s night and day compared to his game at the start of the campaign.

And beyond the points, Slaf is playing a game that is truly complete… and that’s what led Maxim Lapierre to propose an intriguing idea: he’d like to see the Habs test Slafkovský at center.

That’s what he told Tony Marinaro on the Sick Podcast.

Warning: Lapierre isn’t saying he wants the Habs to make Slaf a center overnight. What he is saying is that he sees elements in the young Slovak’s game that, in his opinion, maketrying Slafkovský at center an interesting test.

His positioning is solid in the defensive zone and he manages to keep his cool, which is rare for a young winger.

On the one hand, this might be a good time to test the youngster, given that he’s only 19 and the club still has time to develop him in the mold it wants… but on the other hand, is it really a good idea to touch something that’s working really, really well right now?

If Slaf falls into lethargy by the end of the year, maybe the timing would be better… but at the same time, one wonders if it wouldn’t be better for the kid to keep things simple.

The idea is interesting, and I understand where it’s coming from. I just don’t know if the timing is right right now, but things can change quickly in the NHL.

We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

In gusto

– Things continue to go well for Florian Xhekaj.

– Still.

– Nice read on Nick Suzuki.

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