Juraj Slafkovsky’s rookie season appears to be over after just 39 games.
The Montreal Canadiens announced on Wednesday that the team’s first overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft will miss three months due to a lower-body injury — eventually revealed to be his left knee — that does not require surgery.
The 18-year-old appears to have sustained the injury midway through the third period of the Canadiens' game against the New York Rangers Sunday night. Slafkovsky did not play in Montreal’s following game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
The Slovakian’s injury likely concludes a disappointing freshman season, as the highly-touted youngster mustered just four goals and 10 points, including an ongoing 15-game pointless streak.
Juraj Slafkovsky will miss three months with an injury. This has been a difficult rookie season for him but hopefully he gets a chance to re-set in the offseason and continue to develop. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/ilQHfrP9U5
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) January 18, 2023
In addition to their update on Slafkovsky, the Canadiens provided injury updates on four other players, sharing that Jonathan Drouin, Jake Allen, Joel Armia, and Jake Evans would all miss some time.
Forwards Drouin and Armia are dealing with upper-body injuries, per the organization, and will not return until after the NHL All-Star break.
Both Drouin and Armia are in the midst of frustrating seasons for the Canadiens — few players aren't while playing for the NHL's 26th-placed team — with both struggling to produce and having already missed time this year. In 28 games, Drouin has no goals and 12 assists, while Armia boasts just seven points in 32 games this season.
Netminder Jake Allen will also be sidelined with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss at least the next week with the ailment. The Canadiens starter has struggled mightily in 27 games, owning career lows in both save percentage (.892) and goals against average (3.52) this season.
Lastly, Evans is expected to miss eight-to-ten weeks with a lower-body injury (knee) that will not require surgery. Evans has two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 43 games this season.
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