(More) relevant comparisons for Juraj Slafkovski


It will always be tempting and relevant to compare Juraj Slafkovski to another first choice.

Recently, the Journal de Québec published an article in which Juraj Slafkovsky revealed himself as one of the four worst first overall picks in the last 50 years after 50 games.

It hits the imagination.

However, since we are in a democracy, different points of view are possible and a few objections can be raised!

First, if we stick to the first picks in general, at the same time, we are in the same basket as players of the Slafkovsky generation, defenders, goalkeepers, small players, players who did not play the first 50 games at the age of 18, etc. .

A beautiful fruit salad, as Michel Therrien would say!

So, what can we gather from the first 50 games in the NHL of an 18-year-old, 6’3, 235 lbs guy who isn’t even done softening his own body yet?

Not much…

Besides, absolutely nobody expected anything grandiose Slaf in his first year as the only 18-year-old player from his poor family to play in the NHL.

And no careful analysis predicted him to score more than 40 points this season…unless you count ESPN’s wacky projections as serious analysis!

Slaf it’s still simple very far finished product. We just have to accept this reality for a while longer.

Whatever you think of CH’s development strategy, we decided to play in Montreal so that he learn with Martin St-Louis, not that he could score points and impress the gallery.

St-Louis must constantly defend the Canadian’s development strategy in relation to Slafkovski…
(Credit: Screenshot)

After all, first of all we have to take into account what the team hoped to get with his draft and what they said “no” to at the same time.

She wanted a strength Forward » with a special playable character in Montreal. All this with a long-term vision, over a five-year horizon.

In short, let me emphasize that Slaf has a worse start to his career than individuals like McDavid, Matthews, Kane, Crosby, Ovechkin, Lindros, as well as failures like Patrik Stefan and Brian Lawton, unfortunately it doesn’t get us very far.

On the other hand, if we compare him to other players who were also drafted in hopes of being among the best wings of their generation, we risk getting a fairer reference for the player and those who drafted him.

But before…

Decision from 2022

Even if they represent three completely different styles of players, it will always be normal and legitimate compare the great Slovak to the “little American” Logan Cooley and ” good canadian boy “Shane Wright.

Everyone knew that the Canadian wanted to draft a striker and that the decision would fall on one of these three in 2022, the good, the bad or the ugly!

With the luxury of speaking first, the Habs therefore had the ultimate choice.

Maybe Bobrov and company felt that Cooley didn’t bring enough to the table. different AND the best what talented small forwards are already with the team?

Maybe, like many others, they really weren’t impressed personality by Shane Wright?

More importantly, perhaps, the fact that CH management preferred Kirby Dach’s profile – which she acquired at the same time she drew Slafkovski – those of Cooley and Wright as a center fielder?

It must look something like this since they decided on Slaf because of his size, his long-term potential and his personality brimming with confidence.

According to them, of the three attackers who encouraged them to think, he will be the “best” or, at the very least, the most useful for the team in five years.

And with the addition of Dach, they found themselves filling a glaring need by adding two talented forwards at 6’3-6’4 and over 210 lbs to their future. top-6.

It’s hard to disagree with this logic.

It’s not hard to imagine that Slafkovsky would have more points on the clock right now with Dach at his side…
(Credit: Screenshot/Twitter)

In short, in the meantime, we will continue to monitor and comment on the progress of the famous trio of hopes of the chosen 1this one3e and 4e in 2022, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that we will have the first valid conclusion only in 2027!

But let’s move on to comparisons more relevant to Slafkovsky’s style of player.

THE power forward comparable to his generation

There are all kinds of offensive centers, all kinds of offensive defenders, all kinds of “technical” goalkeepers.

And there are all kinds of ” power forward “.

Basically, what brings all these people together under the umbrella of “power forwards” is the ability to attack offensively through the regular use of above-average size and physical strength.

On one side of the spectrum, there are the more classic ” meat and potatoes » like Brady Tkachuk.

On the other hand, there are some with more finesse like Leon Draisaitl, Mikko Rantanen, Kappo Kakko and Andreï Svechnikov.

Between the two extremes there are all kinds of variations ranging from Matthew Tkachuk to Quinton Byfield to Valeri Nichushkin.

In short, Slafkovsky belongs to one of these variants.

For the sake of argumentation, we will compare Slafkovski with power forward of his generation, ie 28 years and under, elected in the first 10 elections since 2013.

At 28 and under, these are all players Slafkovsky will play against for a good portion of his career. I see them in that sense players of their generation.

Therefore, with forwards like Kakka, Byfield, Svechnikov, McTavish, Draisaitl, Meier, Rantanen, Puljujarvi, the Tkachuk brothers, Nichushkin and company, it will be most relevant to compare Slafkovsky in the coming years.

Therefore, we will have players more of his style, who all have an element power in their game, AND who were not considered to inhabit another galaxy during their draft.

Continuing this analysis in the next article, we will see that Slafkovsky’s early career, modest as it was, was not absolutely nothing unusual when placed alongside more relevant comparables of his generation.

That should appease many!

We will connect again soon!





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