yesterday at 14:15
In less than a month, the world junior hockey championships begin. Slovakia will once again have an extremely interesting team, and there is speculation overseas that under certain circumstances it may also be one of the big favorites for a medal.
Already a year ago, she directed enormous attention to the Slovak team. There were great draft hopes Juraj Slafkovský, Šimon Nemec and Filip Mešár, as well as Maxim Štrbák and Dalibor Dvorský, born in 2005, but also already drafted Samuel Kňažko, Martin Chromiak and Jakub Demek.
However, the tournament was later canceled as the coronavirus began to spread. The replacement championship was held in the summer, when Slovakia no longer had such a strong team. Many players could not come because they already had signed contracts with NHL clubs that did not recommend it to them. Others were injured… The weakened Slovaks thus occupied the last place in the group.
Six months later, however, everything could be different. Those born in 2002 such as Samuel Kňažko, Martin Chromiak, Rayen Petrovický, Maroš Jedlička or Šimon Latkóczy will no longer be available. We will be able to be the oldest in the tournament from 2003, where Slovakia does not have a strong representation. Only Jakub Demek was drafted.
Much higher hopes are placed in the years 2004 and 2005. From the first, Juraj Slafkovský, Šimon Nemec, Filip Mešár, Adam Sýkora, Servác Petrovský and Adam Žlnka were drafted. Among the following are prospects for Dalibor Dvorský, Samuel Honzek, Alex Čiernik, Maxim Štrbák and Ondrej Molnár.
With the exception of Juraj Slafkovský and the injured Jakub Demek, he would have no interest in these players, moreover, the position or form of several of them can.
HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Simon Nemec is a stable part of the farm AHL team, Filip Mešár in turn, Montreal sent him to the junior OHL, where he has 16 points (6+10) in 14 duels. Adam Sýkora is a key figure of HK Nitra. He also has more points per game in the same league as Filip Mešár Servác Petrovskýin 21 duels he won 22 of them (9+13). Adam Žlnka he has 10 points (3+7) in 19 duels in the USHL.
It is from the year 2005 Dalibor Dvorský part of the men’s team AIK Stockholm in the second highest Swedish competition. In the same league, he is also getting more and more chances Alex Čiernik. Ondrej Molnár is worried in Nitra when he does not get as many opportunities as he would have imagined. Maxim Štrbák there is only Adam Žlnka and he has the same number of points.
The form is extremely pleasing Samuel Honzek, who is one of the most productive players in the junior WHL, scored 14 goals in 23 duels and added 18 assists. The return of the wounded is slowly approaching Jakub Demek. However, he has not yet played a single duel and his participation in the championship is a question.
All of the aforementioned are thus in a position where, in the case of their good health, nothing should stand in the way of their participation in tournaments.
WILL SLAFKOVSKÝ COME?
And already such an extremely interesting team can be joined by an unexpected huge star. Draft unit Juraj Slafkovský has been a regular part of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team since the beginning of the season. From his position, players do not go to the junior championship, which is why probably no fan expected to see him with a double cross on his chest during the Christmas holidays.
However, speculation began overseas that it could help Juraj Slafkovský and it may not be so unrealistic. Journalist Marco D’Amico from the web montrealhockeynow.com brought reasons why the Canadiens should let Juraj Slafkovski win the world.
Considering that this idea may not be necessary, Montreal’s management has already shown that they can look at it from another point of view and do things that may not be popular. The mere drafting of Juraj Slafkovski as a unit proves everything.
Although he plays in the NHL, he does not get much time on the ice. Out of 16 duels, only five played more than 12 minutes and only two more than 14. He would be one of the busiest players in the junior championship and could fully present what the NHL has given me so far and what I should work on.
“If Juraj Slafkovský played against his peers, the club’s management would get a picture of what has already improved and what I still need to work on.” writes Marco D’Amico in the article. In addition, the best drafted hockey players from this year should not be missing from the championship, so they could see several interesting confrontations.
He would also belong to the leader of the team, so he would have responsibility and tasks on his shoulders, which he does not have to such an extent in Montreal. That way I could also gain confidence that could help him during the season.
Just as it worked last year. Slafkovský didn’t do as well as he expected in the TPS Turku club and didn’t get as much space, then came the Olympics, where he did extremely well and after that he was better, he believed more and thus got more space on the ice.
These thoughts about the change in Juraj Slafkovský’s situation arise mainly because he is not given more space. He only plays in the fourth attack, although he starts in the second power formation, but it doesn’t get on the ice that often. In one meeting, the head coach included him in the second attack, but he lasted only one duel there. He then wandered back into the fourth.
In addition to sending him to the junior championship, there will also be speculations as to whether Montreal would not have him for a few games on the farm to the AHL, where he played all the game situations in the first attack and he was given enough space to win and gain even more self-confidence.
Whether these predictions will really come true and which we will find out in the next few days. The first match of the championship is scheduled for December 26. However, if he did come, the Slovak team was among the candidates for a medal.
“Slafkovský, Mešár and Dvorský would probably create one of the most dangerous attacks in the championship. They could play a balanced game with the best from Canada or the USA. It would also be another auxiliary impulse for the Slovakian team to make it all the way to the fight for a medal.” said Marco D’Amico.