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Canadiens’ Slavkowski and Goule impress early in training camp

BROSSARD, Que. — you want to stand out as his No. 1 pick in the entire draft, but you don’t necessarily expect him to be the best player on the ice in NHL training his first scrimmage at camp .

Keep in mind that it’s just a scrimmage, and not all of the players Julai Slavkowski faced on Friday are destined for the NHL this season. He has stood out on every shift and this gave us a glimpse of the different skills he was picked by the Canadiens in Montreal in July Shane over Wright and everyone else.

Let’s start with the 6-foot-4-inch, 238-pound winger’s strength.

During one of Slavkowski’s first shifts, he got into a loose pack fight with Joel Armia as he skated on the right wing of the line with Owen Beck in the middle and Rafael Harvey Pinard on the left. . Slafkowski held the stick with one hand and fended off Armia’s stick check like he was swatting a fly.

You can say a lot about Armia — about what he does and doesn’t — but one thing you can’t say is that he’s not strong with a stick. The 218-pound winger boasts strength above all other skills and was made to look weak by the 18-year-old.

Impressive.

So did Slavkovski’s hockey sense.

He was well positioned in all three zones, supporting plays with the puck on the stick almost every shift.

And then there was what the Slovak bigwigs did with it.

He allowed a give-and-go on Harvey Pinard’s 2-0 goal, and then deftly sent an air pass to Harvey Pinard to tap him in. Offensive He stood on the right wall of the zone, waiting for a pass from the point, and without hesitation Jordan he fired his one-off pass to Harris, generating the rebound Harvey Pinnard who made his 5-1 lead. Victory.

This came after Slavkowski led two rushes on the ice for a successful zone entry before glimpsing the play so he could make a no-look pass to Harris with seconds remaining.

During the match, Slavkovski had good speed and skating. He had several scoring chances, popping quick releases on shots from various angles, only thwarted by some impressive saves by the goalkeepers he faced. And his shots were heavy and hard when he had time and went into the net when he didn’t.

All in all, it was the type of start the kid wanted, and the Canadiens had to be satisfied.

What did Martin St. Louis’ coach learn from that?

“You know he’s there, like it’s physical,” he said. “He’s physically strong, he’s fast, he can push people back, he can win fights. It was nice to see him play against guys in the NHL.”

Kaiden Guhle maturity display

To hear a first-round pick like Güle (16th overall pick by the Canadiens in 2020) say he would have been better off going back to the juniors than playing professionally last year. rare.

Nineteen-year-old Goulet patrolling Montreal’s Blue Line full-time wasn’t all that realistic.

But after seeing him perform just as professionally as he did in training camp, the idea of ​​him doing it for at least a few games didn’t seem too far-fetched. It made it more real by making the level look ready to play.

But there’s a difference between looking ready and feeling ready, and after the pandemic limited him to just 11 games last season, the Edmonton native was ready on Friday. Said it wasn’t done.

“I felt there was a time when I wasn’t ready yet. I was a little too young,” Guhle said after a long media scrum ended.

He returned to the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders last fall, scoring 15 points in 17 games before being traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings, and finished the regular season with 5 goals and 25 points in 25 games.

In the meantime, Guhle has impressed at the World Junior Championship — at least in games played before the tournament was postponed due to COVID — and, in the spring, the Oil Kings will win the WHL Championship. helped

Goulet took little time off before recovering from a lower body injury in three Memorial Cup games and completing a summer routine for training camp in Montreal.

How much difference does one year make in terms of being ready?

“I think it was big,” Guhle said. “I think it was huge for me and my game to be put in so many different situations after just playing so many games for a year. I think it was great to come back and get used to the game and the flow and be able to work on my own game.

That’s shown early on in this camp when Team Canada captain and former WHL playoff MVP Goulet looks very comfortable and confident.

“He looks like a pro,” said Canadiens veteran David Savard, who paired with Güle in the morning’s scrimmage. “He seems like he’s been around for a long time. He’s confident when he’s on the ice and has the puck to play with. It’s fun to see a young man with confidence on the ice. is.

The child will be given every chance to make this team.

“He’s big, he’s got mobility, he’s got a touch, he’s got it all,” St. Louis said. “So that alone gives him confidence to play in the NHL.

“But now we have to think about what kind of player he will be in the NHL. A lot of that responsibility falls on him and he will be supported by a staff of people who can help his game. We’ll see where he goes, but the packaging alone is NHL material.”

Canadiens’ Slavkowski and Goule impress early in training camp

Source link Canadiens’ Slavkowski and Goule impress early in training camp

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