The Montreal Canadiens, like every other NHL team, had to submit their opening night rosters by 5pm Monday. Among the names taking the ice for the Habs in their opener is the very first pick from the 2022 NHL Draft.

Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky has made the Canadiens roster out of training camp, the team announced. He became the highest Slovakian player ever drafted in July. The Canadiens won the NHL Draft Lottery prior to the event.

“It feels really, really great,” Slafkovsky said after learning his place on the roster. “I would say that I always believed and I’m happy that I know how it is and there is some work to do starting Wednesday.”

Slafkovsky received the news along with others, as he is not the only rookie who cracked the Canadiens roster. Defensemen Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, and Arber Xhekaj are also starting the season in the NHL.

Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis said it was important the kids all found out together. “I think if you bring them in one at a time they’ll think they’ve been cut,” St. Louis said. “It’s always more fun to celebrate as a group. When you have a big moment like that it’s always fun when there are people around you. A moment like that by yourself isn’t as much fun.”

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As for Slafkovsky, his mission is clear: he wants to establish himself in the NHL. And the Canadiens forward believes he can do it this season.

“I’ll just play my best game every time I get the chance to play,” Slafkovksy said. “I think if I give everything then I can stay here for a long time, and that’s what I will try to do.”