Martin St-Louis Makes a Major Statement on Juraj Slafkovsky

Aaron Itovitch
December 24, 2023  (10:21)

Photo credit: HabsLatest

The most pleasant surprise for the Canadiens this season is undoubtedly the emergence of young Juraj Slafkovsky, who seems to be improving game by game. Indeed, since he was placed on the first line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, the Slovak forward has been simply dominant.

He's no longer just a complement to the two star forwards, but rather a player who enables them to succeed. His ability to protect the puck along the boards and create turnovers in offensive territory makes him an exceptional addition to the top line. Although this wasn't the case at the start of the season, the first overall pick in 2022 is now able to make his mark on the scoresheet, having collected five points in his last four games.
He is making significant progress, which is very promising for the team's future. In this regard, the head coach of the Canadiens, Martin St-Louis, is really satisfied with what Juraj Slafkovsky can bring night after night, knowing it was only a matter of time before he made a more significant offensive contribution.
"He's really starting to integrate. He's much more confident on the ice, he plays with a lot of confidence, he uses his body, and it's great to see. Everyone said that once he realized his size, he would be scary, and he's really starting to realize it." - Martin St-Louis

The more we see him play, the more we understand why Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton selected him first overall two years ago. Juraj Slafkovsky has impressive offensive skills, and his imposing size allows him to create quality scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Statistician Guillaume Villemaire made a very interesting chart to highlight the first line's statistics during the last four games. We can quickly see that this line is destined for a promising future, as Nick Suzuki (7 points), Juraj Slafkovsky (5 points), and Cole Caufield (4 points) have all contributed to the Canadiens' recent success.
The chemistry has indeed set in among the three forwards of the Tricolore. This is even more striking when considering the previous 10 games, where the 19-year-old was mainly playing on another line. During this period, Nick Suzuki (6 points), Cole Caufield (5 points), and Juraj Slafkovsky (2 points) were much less productive, thus demonstrating the importance of keeping this trio intact.
Certainly, it's genuinely pleasing to see the Slovak forward develop in this way, as he will undoubtedly play a major role in Montreal's attack in the coming years.
Martin St-Louis Makes a Major Statement on Juraj Slafkovsky

Will Slaf live up to the expectations of a first overall pick?

Yes48287.5 %
No6912.5 %
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