Mesar Dreaming Of Being Teammates With Slafkovsky Again
Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip Mesar is still ecstatic over the fact that the Canadiens drafted both him (26th overall) and his close friend and fellow Slovakian Juraj Slafkovsky first overall at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft on July 7.
After signing a three-year, $2.8 million entry-level contract back on July 14, Mesar knows he will be playing somewhere in North America for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Mesar is hoping that if he can’t make the Canadiens roster out of rookie and training camp in September, he’ll at least be playing a half hour away with the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League.
“Maybe AHL will be the best option for me and now I’m fighting for that,” Mesar told NHL.com recently.
As a result of the Montreal Canadiens signing him before the July 15 European transfer deadline, the Canadiens have full control of where the 18-year-old, 5-foot-10, 167-pound forward will play this season and general manager Kent Hughes is already on record as saying that will either be for the Laval Rocket or for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL), who hold his Canadian Hockey League rights after selecting Filip Mesar with the No. 9 pick of the 2021 CHL import draft.
“We want him to continue to have the opportunity to have success offensively, to play on the power play and all aspects of the game,” Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said. “If we’re not in a position to offer him that in Laval, then for sure we would put him in Kitchener instead. But we’ll look at that week to week when we’re in [training] camp.”
Either way, the potential of Mesar and Slafkovsky one day being NHL teammates and even linemates, has the center – who had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 37 regular-season games and four points (three goals, one assist) in six playoff games last season with Poprad in Tipos Extraliga, the top professional men’s league in Slovakia – thrilled.
“Yeah, me and Juraj we know each other very well since we were kids,” Mesar told NHL.com. “We were in a lot of tournaments together. Our fathers are very good friends and this year we went on vacation together, our families. So, we know each other very well and I’m happy to be here with him.
Moment, kdy se Juraj Slafkovský dozvěděl, že si @CanadiensMTL na 26. vybrali jeho kamaráda Filipa Mešára.. 🤯 #NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/2tAXB2HAd8
— NHL Česko (@NHLcz) July 8, 2022
It’s very special. I’m very happy to be [one of] two Slovak guys here. It’s maybe easy to adapt here for me. We are two very good friends, and I got some experience from him.”