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An A on his jersey sooner rather than later for Juraj Slafkovský
Credit: Getty Images

This season, Juraj Slafkovský has really come into his own in Montreal. After a timid start, the young Slovakian began to dominate in the second half of the season, forming a solid line alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

We finally saw the player the Habs hoped to get when they drafted him first overall in 2022.

Clearly, then, Slaf has shown that he’s part of the team’s future plans. Even more impressive, though, was seeing that he showed a lot of leadership for a kid his age.

Let’s not forget that he only turned 20 on March 30.

And in his Sportsnet piece of the day, Eric Engels answered an Internet user’s question about whether Slafkovský could possibly become an assistant to captain Nick Suzuki in 1-2 years’ time:

I absolutely believe it. – Eric Engels

Remember that right now, Mike Matheson and Brendan Gallagher are the two guys wearing an A on their jerseys in Montreal. One wonders if, for example, Slaf could replace one of the two guys the day they leave Montreal.

Matheson is under contract for two more years, while Gallagher has three years left on his contract. Obviously, the guys could be traded before the end of their pact, just as they could extend their stay in town. But right now, it’s the long-term situation for both guys.

On the other hand, as Engels explains, Slaf is already a leader without needing a letter on the front of his sweater. Leadership is coming out of his ears (as we saw at the most recent World Championship, when he wore Slovakia’s colors), even if he’s not an assistant captain at the moment.

That said, it’s a good sign that people are already beginning to believe that the 20-year-old could become an assistant captain in just a few years’ time. For a youngster who is in the long-term plans for the future, seeing such character at his age is a very promising sign.

All that remains now is to see what the future holds for him.

In bursts

– Well done.

– It’s going to feel good.

– What do you think?

– Could the Montreal Grand Prix move to Toronto? [TVA Sports]

– Sheldon Keefe will get a taste of the “real NHL” now that he’s away from Toronto.

– It will be up to him to relaunch the organization.

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