The Montreal Canadiens have an important piece of their future locked up.
The Canadiens signed Juraj Slafkovsky, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, to his three-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday, the team has announced. He is the highest-drafted Slovakian-born player in NHL history.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 13, 2022
The 18-year-old, who was ranked No. 1 among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 31 Liiga games with JYP in Finland’s top circuit, but was a true standout on the international stage for Slovakia.
He was named most valuable player at the 2022 Beijing Olympics after helping Slovakia to bronze with a tournament-high seven goals in seven games. He also led Slovakia at the 2022 IIHF World Championship with nine points (three goals, six assists) in just eight games.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 8, 2022
The 18-year-old, likened to Auston Matthews by Central Scouting, is a big-bodied forward who has excellent vision, hockey sense, and puck skills. He uses his 6’3, 218-pound frame effectively and is a bull in the offensive zone.
He will immediately join a young core that also boasts Nick Suzucki, Cole Caufiled, Ryan Poehling, Justin Barron, and Kaiden Guhle.