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Slafkovsky Making Changes After Tough First Year With Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens’ Juraj Slafkovsky is determined to prove himself after a tough rookie season, expecting growth.

Montreal Canadiens’ rising star, Juraj Slafkovsky, is determined to make a stronger impact in the 2023-24 NHL season after facing some challenges in his rookie year. Despite being the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, Slafkovsky experienced a bumpy transition to the league, including a devastating injury, leaving many fans with high expectations for his second season with the team.

In his debut season, Slafkovsky struggled to meet the goals he set for himself and the ones the team and fan base probably had. Managing just four goals and 10 points in 39 games before a season-ending knee injury in mid-January halted his progress, he was on his way to a mediocre year, one that even if healthy, might have been considered a letdown due to the ceiling he had as a rookie.

However, the 6-foot-3 winger remains optimistic about the future and is confident that he’s now back to full health. He mentioned shedding some weight, which he believes will enhance his speed on the ice and something the team identified as a potential weakness. Additionally, Slafkovsky has been focused on improving his lung capacity, noting positive changes in this aspect of his game.

In a recent interview with Slovak reporter Tomas Prokop, Slafkovsky expressed belief in his ability to bounce back stronger in the upcoming season. He is ready to return to Montreal for training at the beginning of the week, fully committed to further honing his skills.

There Is Pressure in Montreal, But He’s Ready For It

Acknowledging the pressure that comes with playing in Montreal, a passionate hockey city, the 19-year-old forward understands that fans will expect more from him in his second year in the NHL. However, Slafkovsky remains composed, trusting in the progress he has made during his summer training to meet these expectations head-on. “I’m sure they’ll expect more, I’m counting on that. I believe that I am well prepared and that I will be better than in my first year,” he said.

As the hockey world eagerly anticipates Slafkovsky’s sophomore season, the young talent is confident that he will deliver a more impressive performance. His determination to excel and the improvements he’s made during the off-season suggest that he is primed to make a significant impact for the Canadiens in the 2023-2024 campaign.

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