Montreal Canadiens: Filip Mesar Scores Three More Points For Slovakia at World Juniors

Canada v Slovakia: Quarterfinals - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Canada v Slovakia: Quarterfinals - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Filip Mesar’s name is beginning to constantly be atop the hot topic list, in terms of Montreal Canadiens prospects.

It’s no secret that he has been on a tear in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers, and he has picked up in Sweden where he left off in Canada. He just keeps doing things that get you right out of your seat - whether it’s a speed play, a nice pass or a blistering shot. Mesar is coming along right before us, and Slovakia has struck gold having the 2023 26th overall selection by the Habs on their IIHF U20 roster.

Mesar's speed is effective all over the ice, and the way that Jesse Ylonen has been playing, I can see Mesar reaching that level. I think that Ylonen has another step to take offensively, and I think that Mesar is going to be a bit better in his prime than Ylonen. He has a bright future, and the benefits from his adapting to North American ice with the Rangers will be immeasurable.

Slovakia Beats Up On Norway 8-4

Mesar scored three points against Norway, starting with an assist in the second period, an insurance goal. The tally put Slovakia up 3-1, and Mesar earned the secondary assist on a Dalibor Dvorsky goal. Repcik drew the first assist on the power play marker.

The second point of the night for the Slovak assistant captain came less than three minutes later. Mesar and Maxim Strbak (Sabres '23 45 overall selection) worked the passing play, and Strbak found Servac Petrovsky with a nice feed. Petrovsky (Wild '22 186 overall selection) made no mistake finding the twine.

The third point of the night for Mesar was a third assist, which was a reward for the great work he has done in his 200-foot game. Mesar earned his first primary assist of the game, after receiving a pass from Jozef Kmec (Undrafted 19-year-old). Dalibor Dvorsky (Blues '23 10 overall selection) fired the feed from Mesar in for the Slovaks' eighth goal of the game.

Mesar sits in a three-way tie for second place on the tournament scoring list with six points, alongside Slovakian teammate Maxim Strbak. Canada's Macklin Celebrini is the third player with six points through, although it's through two games. As of right now, Mesar is in a three-way tie, but Canada is currently playing against Sweden.

Mesar seems to climb to another level each time you watch him play, and I can see the trend that Kent Hughes was targeting. Mesar needed some time to adjust and develop; much like Juraj Slafkovsky - and both players have shown significant growth during the draft-plus-one season. The offence has run through Mesar for the Slovakian attack, and he has shown tremendously intriguing things over in Sweden.

The undefeated Slovakian squad is off now until Sunday, but they know that their opponents could end their run. So Mesar, Dvorsky and Petrovsky will be leaned on heavily in what will be a big test against the Americans, for a New Year's Eve showdown. To this point, the Slovaks have shown no sign of weakness, despite lacking Simon Nemec and Slafkovsky.

Mesar has inherited the keys and has been driving the Slovak machine. He has accepted and thrived under his leadership role, and Hughes has to be pleased with what he has seen. Likewise, Martin St. Louis must be salivating at the idea of coaching another player who is closer to his stature.

Marty is able to relate and coach smaller players, using his own personal experiences to teach. Mesar is learning and preparing, and he has proven to be very coachable. There's a lot to like with this player and I suspect that he will be playing professionally soon enough.