CH reveals that the addition of Slafkovsky has completely changed the game for the rest of the organization's selections

Jeff Drouin
August 27, 2022  (2:03 PM)

When Kent Hughes announced that the Habs were selecting Juraj Slafkovsky with the very first pick of the NHL draft last July, most fans of the team were surprised, as a majority of them expected to see Shane Wright become the property of the Habs with that first pick.

Now, the young Slovakian will get a lot of attention when training camp opens in September, and we even shared a video of Nick Brobov, the Habs' amateur scouting co-director, explaining Slafkovsky's selection.
As also reported by J.B. Gagné of GoHabsGo.com, Brobov was later very complimentary of the man the Habs selected first overall.
"Hockey professionals pay attention to what this guy was able to accomplish and at what age. To be at the World Championship at 16 is unprecedented. No one has done that. Not even in the 80s or 70s. And certainly, what he did on the big occasions this year is pretty much unprecedented."

"He has that type of personality that wants to take the bull by the horns. He wants to be in control of the moment and the situation. I was talking this morning with some people who had him at the Olympics. In the Olympics, he went from the fourth line to the first line because the other guys weren't taking charge. He got on the first line and suddenly was taking charge. The same thing happened at the World Championships."

"It's a trait of personality. It's more than just talent or skill. It's just his personality, he wants to take the course. I think he's proven that to the hockey world."

By the way, according to Christopher Boucher, director of advanced statistical analysis at the Habs, the fact that Slafkovsky was chosen from the start had the effect of being able to change the strategy of the organization in subsequent selections.
"Taking Slafkovsky means we won't start drafting guys for their size later on. Because I think this is where teams make mistakes. If it keeps us from doing that, that's already a win in my book."

As we know in the past, the organization had often cast his lot with big players to fill an obvious gap in the team, the example of Michael McCarron in 2013 is still fresh in the memory of Habs fans.
Chris Boucher is clear: it's a mistake to draft this way, the analysis proves it, and with the addition of Slafkovsky, the CH has completely changed its philosophy (for the other selections) and that's perfect!
With the addition of Slafkovsky early in the draft, the team was able to pick smaller players later on, like Lane Hutson for example, and focus on the raw talent and potential of young prospects. We love it!
Obviously it's still too early to speculate on the future of the young prospects drafted by the Habs in 2022, but it could very well be that the selection of Juraj Slafkovsky will become a turning point for the Habs and also change the way they draft in the years to come. Let's just say it's promising!
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CH reveals that the addition of Slafkovsky has completely changed the game for the rest of the organization's selections

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