Aaron
Vickers
February 21, 2022

Draft-eligible Slafkovsky named MVP in Olympic men’s hockey

Juraj Slafkovsky certainly represented. 

The 17-year-old member of the 2022 NHL Draft class had himself a showing for Slovakia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, leading the tournament with seven goals in seven games to help his country to their first ever medal — a bronze — at the Winter Games. 

Unsurprisingly, he was named the tournament’s MVP.

“It’s just an amazing feeling,” Slafkovsky said, according to the IIHF. “After all we went through, bouncing back from the first two losses and a tough loss to Sweden in the group stage, and then we score four goals on them. 

“This has been an amazing few weeks since the start of camp and I’m so happy to be a part of this.”

Slafkovsky was slotted eighth in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2022 draft. 

That might be underselling the prospect a little bit. 

“Slafkovsky had a very impressive tournament,” FCHockey scout Rasmus Tornqvist said. “I thought his obviously spectacular stat-line of seven goals didn’t actually do justice to his overall play in the offensive zone. He was the most dangerous forward on their team on every game that I watched, using his size and puckhandling to create numerous scoring opportunities for his teammates. He impressed me with the way he used his body to protect the puck and create time and space for himself. 

“Considering his performance in this tournament in addition to his toolbox and impressive size, I’m sure he’s made quite the leap in many scouts’ rankings.”

Slafkovsky, naturally, was also voted as one of the tournament’s top three forwards. 

He finished the tournament with a plus-5 rating, 24 shots, and averaged 15:50 of ice time. 

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