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Canadiens select Slovakian RW Juraj Slafkovsky with No. 1 pick in 2022 NHL Draft

The Habs went with the power wing from Slovakia with the first pick.

Juraj Slafkovsky looks on prior to Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens selected Slovakian RW Juraj Slafkovsky with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Most draft boards had Kingston C Shane Wright going first overall to Montreal. The Habs throw a bit of a curve ball with Wright favored about an hour or so before draft time. That line quickly swung to Slafkovsky at -155 right before 7 p.m. ET. The Slovakian forward ends up being the pick for the Habs in front of the home crowd.

Slafkovsky becomes the first Slovakian-born player to be selected with the first pick in the draft.

Slafkovsky flew up draft boards after performances for Slovakia at the Olympics and in international play, when he had seven goals in the tournament to help his country win Bronze. He’s a hulking 6’4” wing who has a ton of skill and could turn out to be a top goal-scorer in the NHL. Many have compared Slafkovsky to former Blue Jackets and Rangers wing Rick Nash, who was also selected with the first pick back in 2002.

In terms of the type of prospect, you could argue Slafkovsky is the only true player in this draft class with a shot at playing in the NHL next season. Wright has decent size but is by no means a sure-thing, which has even further been proven with the Habs opting for Slafkovsky with this pick.