August 11, 2022

Slafkovsky named Hockey Slovakia Player of the Year

Juraj Slafkovsky is going to need a bigger mantle. Already.

Slafkovsky, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, was named Hockey Slovakia Player of the Year after an absolutely incredible run on the international stage. He is the youngest player ever to win the honor, according to Slovak hockey insider Tomáš Prokop.

The 18-year-old, who was also named top forward and best player under 20, is the first Slovakian-born player to go first overall in the draft. 

It’s been an impressive calendar year for the Montreal Canadiens prospect. 

Slafkovsky started his season by helping Slovakia to silver at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last August, and participated in two games at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship last December before it was halted because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He then suited up for Slovakia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and represent he did. The Kosice prospect was named most valuable player and to the all-star team at the Games, leading the tournament with seven goals en route to helping the Slovaks net bronze at the event.

Slafkovsky, who signed his  three-year, entry-level contract with Montreal on July 13, also played for Slovakia at the 2022 World Championship, pacing all under-20 scorers with nine points (three goals, six assists) in eight games. 

He also helped TPS in Liiga to a second-place finish in Finland’s top men’s circuit with seven points (two goals, five assists) in 18 playoff games. 

The international events helped launch Slafkovsky ahead of Shane Wright for No. 1 in the 2022 draft.

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