Habs not expected to loan Slafkovsky to Slovakia for WJC
The Montreal Canadiens are not expected to loan forward Juraj Slafkovsky to Slovakia for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.
Dreger noted that he expects Canadiens general mangers Kent Hughes will inform Slovakia of their decision in the near future.
"You have to look at the kid's playing resume: the Olympics [2022 Beijing Olympics], the Men's World Championship," said Dreger on Thursday. " The fact that he is working on strong NHL habits that has helped him elevate in the lineup. He's a 13-15 minute player [and] he has been productive of late, so they do not want to stall his NHL development."
Selected first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft, Slafkovsky has four goals and 10 points in 25 games with the Canadiens this season while averaging just under 12 minutes of ice time per game.
The 18-year-old represented Slovakia at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games where he scored seven goals in seven games en route to a bronze medal and was named Olympic MVP and to the tournament All-Star team.
The 6-foot-3 winger also represented his country at the 2022 IIHF World Championships where he recorded three goals and nine points in eight games en route to an eighth place finish.