Montreal Canadiens Filip Mesar has had a busy season, but he remains focused on his development and growth; a process the Canadiens have followed closely.
The 26th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft has played in the AHL, OHL and participated in the World Juniors for Slovakia all in a matter of three months. It’s been a busy time for the skilled forward, who is looking to take on a leadership role and play a more well-rounded game.
Filip Mesar was a standout player for Slovakia, on top of being tasked with a key leadership role as alternate captain; and he loved every second of it.
“It was amazing. The fans were crazy when we played against Canada. I really enjoyed that tournament and it was a great experience for me,” said Mesar of his experience at the World Juniors. “We’re really good friends with the boys and we were fighting for each other in every game. I’m so proud of the guys and hopefully, we’ll be even better next year.”
Despite the challenges and tiring schedule, Mesar remains committed to his development, even if it hasn’t shown on the scoresheet of late.
“Right now, I’m not feeling good in the games. I’m a little tired from the World Juniors; I’m doing everything to feel better,” said Mesar, who spoke of the toll the non-stop schedule has taken on his body. “Hopefully, I’ll feel better in a couple of days and get some points up. I also need to give more in the game because the team needs me to play harder and be more physical because we need to change something here.”
Although the points haven’t come as easy lately, with only one assist in his last five games, Mesar’s game has undoubtedly improved and continues to be more complete thanks to some long-distance coaching from the Montreal Canadiens’ Director of Hockey Development, Adam Nicholas.
Mesar praised the work of Nicholas, who routinely sends Canadiens prospects a multitude of isolated shift clips on a regular basis that he dissects with them to better improve their decision-making and positioning in a game.
“He just sends me my shifts and then we’d talk about it. We’d watch it and then he’d stop it and he would ask me what I could do better here. He tells me what he thinks could be the best thing to do,” said Mesar regarding the depth of his conversations with Nicholas. “It really helps me, and I’m so glad to have that kind of coach with so much energy.”
The Montreal Canadiens’ 1st-round pick is now more rested and playing much better of late; figuring prominently for the Kitchener Rangers this past weekend, as they look to chase the Guelph Storm for the final playoff spot in the OHL‘s Midwest Division.
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