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GOTTA SEE IT: Canadiens Slafkovsky Scores First Hat Trick

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Montreal Canadiens Juraj Slafkovsky

The Montreal Canadiens aren’t vying for a playoff spot this season, but there are important factors within the rebuilding season that will have a long-term impact on the team’s Stanley Cup aspirations. One of those factors is the play of the youngest player in the lineup, Juraj Slafkovsky.

While the first half of the season led to underwhelming results from the 20-year-old, the second half has seen him put together a bevy of great plays, to the point that he’s now considered one of the most potent scoring threats in the lineup.

His evolution was on full display on Tuesday as the Canadiens hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre. Slafkovsky managed to score his first career hat trick, pushing his season total to 19 goals. It should be noted he’s the second youngest player to score a hat trick in franchise history.

The first goal came via a well-established net-front presence for which the Flyers had no answer.

Slafkovsky then followed it up by completing a very nice passing play midway through the second period.

As has often been the case this season, Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki and defenceman Mike Matheson were crucial in the scoring play.

The third goal was perhaps the nicest of the three, as Slafkovsky capitalized on a breakaway opportunity just a few moments later.

Of course, there are no points for style when it comes to scoring in the NHL. They don’t ask how they only ask how many, but it is interesting to see Slafkovsky using various means to make a positive impact. The variety in his shot selection is yet another encouraging aspect of his evolution.

As a reminder, Slafkovsky is still among the youngest players in the league despite participating in his second NHL season. It may be a cliche, but it’s probably a safe bet to say the best is yet to come for this Montreal Canadiens forward.