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NHL Draft

Canadiens Draft Juraj Slafkovsky First Overall; Wright Drops To Kraken

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NHL Draft

The Montreal Canadiens apparently jumped on the Juraj Slafkovsky hype train over the last month and they won’t be jumping off anytime soon. In his first NHL Draft as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes took to the podium and announced that the team had selected Juraj Slafkovsky with the first overall pick at the NHL Draft.

The selection was met with some boos and a very mixed reaction, but maybe more disbelief than anything as Shane wright had been linked to the Canadiens in NHL Draft talk for months.

However, in recent weeks, whispers of the Canadiens changing their mind and leaning towards Slafkovsky became louder and reached a crescendo in the hours leading into the NHL Draft at the Bell Centre. With just under an hour until the draft began at 7:30 PM ET, the NHL betting odds on who would go first overall flip-flopped Wright and Slafkovsky as the favourite. Slafkovsky bettors ended up with some extra dough Friday night and the 6-foot-2, 229-pound winger is now a Montreal Canadien.

Juraj Slafkovsky began to sway NHL amateur scouts and NHL Draft insiders with a MVP performance at the winter games. The big Slovak lit the lamp seven times in seven games in Beijing. He then followed that up with three goals and six assists at the 2022 World Championships. Slafkovsky, who hails from Kosice, Slovakia, had five goals and five assists in 31 games for Liiga in the Finnish Elite League.

What may have been even more stunning than the Montreal Canadiens selecting Juraj Slafkovsky was that Shane Wright fell to the Seattle Kraken as the fourth overall pick at the Draft. In between him and Slafkovsky, the New Jersey Devils surprised everyone and took Simon Nemc second overall. As expected though, the Arizona Coyotes got their guy, Logan Cooley, at third overall.

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