WATCH: Canadiens rookie Juraj Slafkovsky, No. 1 pick in 2022 NHL Draft, scores first career goal

Juraj Slafkovsky scored his first of what is likely to be many NHL goals on Thursday night. The Canadiens rookie, who was the top pick in the 2022 draft, scored one of four unassisted tallies on the night in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. 

At the 8:17 mark of the second period, the Coyotes were attempting to clear the puck out of the zone, but Slafkovsky was able to keep it in due to terrific forechecking by the Canadiens. Slafkovsky then skated right into the face-off circle and ripped a shot past Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram.

It was also Slafkovsky’s first point of his NHL career.

Slafkovsky became the fourth-youngest player in team history to score a goal as he did so at 18 years, 204 days old. Only Mario Tremblay (18 years, 75 days on Nov. 16, 1974), Jesperi Kotkaniemi (18 years, 118 days on Nov. 1, 2018) and Claude Lemieux (18 years, 141 days on Dec. 4, 1983) were younger.

In addition, Slafkovsky did become the youngest Slovak-born player in NHL history to score his first career goal, as he topped Marian Gaborik, who previously held the record at 18 years, 235 days.

“It’s amazing. To score my first goal in this building, it’s a dream come true for sure,” Slafkovsky said, according to ESPN. “I think nothing better could happen after a first NHL goal than what happened out there.”

Habs coach Martin St. Louis commended Slafkovsky for his play and handling the pressure of being such a young NHL player.

“I’m happy for the kid,” St. Louis said. “There’s a lot of pressure for an 18-year-old, first overall pick, to play here in Montreal and the fans made a nice gesture to encourage the kid scoring his first goal. I was expecting nothing less, we have spectacular fans.”

Slafkovsky’s first career goal came on a night in which the Canadiens’ offense was absolutely humming. Josh Anderson, Cole Caulfield and Brendan Gallagher all scored goals in the first 7:17 of the opening period to give Montreal an early 3-0 advantage before anyone could even blink.

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