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Marian Gaborik Praises Slafkovsky, Believes He’ll Sitck In Montreal

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Juraj Slafkovsky

After scoring his first NHL goal and seemingly growing in confidence in his first five NHL games, Juraj Slafkovsky has started receiving some high praise from a former Slovakian star.

After fellow Slovak Marian Hossa took the opportunity to praise Slafkovsky, it was Marian Gaborik’s turn to chime in on the 18-year-old’s performance so far this season and where he believes the youngster is trending. In an interview with Sport.sk, the highest Slovakian selected in the NHL Draft, prior to Slafkovsky this summer, had some kind words for the Canadiens’ power forward as he gets his first few reps in the NHL.

“The goal can help him a lot to stabilize his position in Montreal. I think they will keep him in the first team all season. Coach Martin St. Louis does a good job with him, wisely regulating his ice time,” said Gaborik. “In my rookie season, I also thought about getting sent down. But the fear gradually declined. I’m sure Juraj has it somewhere in his head, but I think he won’t go to the farm. After all, the Canadiens are not favourites for the Stanley Cup. If they had a stacked team, it is in a different situation. However, they are rebuilding the team, it is more about young players.”

Slafkovsky scored his first goal of the season against the Coyotes, an immediate boost to the confidence of a player that has been playing well but had yet to find the scoresheet. St-Louis has slowly but surely increased Slafkovsky‘s ice time as well, to the point that the rookie finished with 14 minutes and 26 seconds of ice time in his last outing, the highest mark in his young career to date.

“It’s huge. Juraj’s every step is taken care of and he certainly puts pressure on himself,” said Gaborik on the pressure of playing in Montreal. “I think he can handle this as well and will do well.”

As it stands, Slafkovsky is one of only five Canadiens forwards who have controlled more than 50 percent of the shots, and due to his solid play, he’s fourth among all forwards in terms of expected goals.

Despite his encouraging progress, Slafkovsky’s play probably hasn’t changed the plan for him to likely head to the Laval Rocket, but, if he keeps putting up dominant underlying numbers as he has in the last few games, management will have no other option but to reevaluate their plans.

Hall Of Famer Has High Praise For Canadiens Juraj Slafkovsky

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habbernack

It’s wonderful so many Slovaks have offered their insights into Slaf. I hope the management has an open ear to what they are opining. Brain storming then filter out the garbage.

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