For a lot of NHL scouts, this was the game that fortified the belief that Juraj Slafkovsky should be the top-ranked player in this draft. Slovakia faced a must-win situation against Kazakhstan in the preliminary round of the World Championships on May 20. They weren’t advancing to the medal round without a win, and Slafkovsky put the team on his back, assisting on a goal and then scoring the game-winner on a penalty shot after a filthy end-to-end rush.
Slafkovsky checked off every box on a scouting report in this game. Skating, strength, competitiveness, vision, shot, puck skill, and character. He killed penalties, he played more than any other player on the Slovaks, he backchecked hard…and most importantly…he dazzled.
Here are the more notable plays from Slafkovsky in this game. He pretty much did something impressive on every shift.