Montreal Canadiens: Three Players Poised To Be Far Better Post All-Star Break

Jan 17, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield
Jan 17, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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Juraj Slafkovsky

Juraj Slafkovsky got off to a bit of a slow start to his second NHL season. His rookie season was not phenomenal as he put up four goals and ten points in 39 games. He looked over his head as he was often caught with his head down or quickly knocked off the puck as he seemed surprised by the quickness and speed of NHL action.

This season, he had an assist on a nice backhand cross crease feed in the opening game of the season. It appeared, after a strong training camp, that he and Alex Newhook and Kirby Dach were going to form a tremendous second line for this team moving forward. Then Dach got hurt in the second game of the season and was ruled out for the final 80 and things just didn't click for Newhook and Slafkovsky when they were joined by Josh Anderson.

Slafkovsky went nine consecutive games without a point and then finally scored his first of the season in the team's 11th game. He followed that up be being held pointless in his next four contests which gave him one goal and one assist in 15 games played.

He then had a nice little stretch with five points in seven games but was held pointless again after that for seven games. He has been better of late, with 13 points in his last 20 games, finally showing a bit of offense that we have all been waiting for since he arrived.

He is still just 19 years old and seemingly just noticed he is a lot bigger than most players on the ice. He stands at 6'3" and 230 pounds and has played a much more physically engaging game recently and has just looked far more confident with the puck and getting involved offensively.

It appears that a big breakout is on the horizon for Slafkovsky as we enter the second half of the season.