Montreal Canadiens had the first pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, and almost everyone expected Shaun Wright to be the first pick. Wright had crushed the OHL in points, but when the Canadiens went up to make their selection, the pick instead went on Juraf Slafkovsky.
The Slovak forward has played for all five of Montreal’s games this season, but he hadn’t scored a point during the first four. Shaun Wright, who, to everyone’s surprise, got picked as the number four pick, scored his first point for the Seattle Kraken last night. And last night, it was Slafkovsky’s turn.
Slafkovsky scored his first NHL goal in the second period to give Montreal a 4-0 lead against the Arizona Coyotes. Montreal won 6-2, and Slafkovsky got named the first star.
As the PA announcer called his name for his first goal, the Bell Centre crowd gave the Slovak a standing ovation.
How Slafkovsky reacted? Well, see for yourself:
Slafkovsky was thrilled, of course, sitting on the bench smiling next to Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher, however, noticed that the Slovak didn’t give anything back to the crowd, and judging by the camera footage, he told Slafkovsky to wave to the crowd, as he did seconds later.
Slafkovsky talked about the goal and all the feelings afterward, and he didn’t hold back on how special it was to him.
“It’s amazing. To score my first goal in this building, it’s a dream come true for sure,” he said. “I think nothing better could happen after a first NHL goal than what happened out there.”