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Juraj Slafkovsky Selected No. 1 Overall by Canadiens in 2022 NHL Draft



Xavier Laine/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens surprisingly passed on Shane Wright with the first overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft and instead selected Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky with the No. 1 pick on Thursday at Bell Centre.


Slafkovsky was widely expected be taken second overall behind Wright, but the Canadiens must have felt the left wing fits their current needs more.


He made a name for himself at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, helping lead Slovakia to a historic bronze medal, which was the country's first-ever Olympic medal in men's ice hockey.


The 18-year-old tallied seven goals in seven games at the Beijing Games, including two goals in the bronze-medal game.


The 6'4", 218-pound forward has the big frame to succeed in the NHL and uses his size and skill to his advantage. He has great puck possession skills and is good on the forecheck.


He could use some work on his skating, decision-making, awareness and positioning, though the Canadiens will surely help him develop those aspects early in his career.


Slafkovsky could enter Montreal's lineup immediately. The team struggled to a 22-49-11 record during the 2021-22 season for the worst finish in the league and could use a player of Slafkovsky's caliber to provide a boost.


Cole Caufield and Jonathan Drouin figure to be Montreal's top two left wingers during the 2022-23 season, so look for Slafkovsky to potentially slot in on the third line alongside Brendan Gallagher and Jake Evans.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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