Like Juraj Slafkovsky, Vincent Damphousse was a first-round pick. He made his NHL debut at 18 and arrived in a new city not speaking English.
• Also read: Martin St-Louis compares Juraj Slafkovsky to a Waze route
Damphousse therefore doesn’t care too much about the statistics of the young Canadian player, who scored his first goal of the season last Saturday against the Blues in St. Louis while playing alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.
“I’m not worried, he’s only 19,” the new Quebec Sports Hall of Fame immortal recalled minutes before his induction Monday night in Montreal.
“I had a good first season in Toronto, but things were more difficult in my second,” he continued. There are many things to assimilate and learn. A bit like him [Slafkovsky]I moved to a new organization, to a new city and I didn’t speak English, I was living with a family.”
Grew up on Olympic ice
Damphousse was selected sixth overall by the Maple Leafs in the 1986 draft and scored 21 goals and 46 points in 80 games as a rookie. He then posted a season high of 48 points, including 12 goals, in 75 games.
“We are also less physically mature,” noted the former Canadiens captain. We still have a lot of training to do before we are strong enough to compete with the best. Despite [Slafkovsky] be physically big enough [6 pi 3 po et 230 lb]he played on a large ice rink his entire youth [dimension olympique] and here he finds himself on a smaller ice rink. His standards are different.”
Photo credit: Archive photo, REUTERS
Not a 100 point player
According to Damphousse, the hopes that supporters or media have in the young Slovakian may be premature.
“People expect a 19-year-old to perform at a high level and that might not be fair to him. He doesn’t have the profile of a player who will have 100 points. That won’t be his style at its peak. He will be a power forward who will score goals. The mistake of just looking at the points is not honest for him.”
Photo credit: Archive photo, Getty Images
The last 40 goalscorer
Damphousse had his best scoring season in 1993-1994 with the Habs. He is also the last CH player to hit the target 40 times during a campaign.
Like many amateurs, the 55-year-old Montrealer believes Caufield is well-suited to imitate or even surpass him.
“I don’t know if it will be this year, but Cole Caufield will do it. He was in a good position last season before his injury [à l’épaule droite]. He is the one who has the talent, shot and instinct to score goals. He did it everywhere he went,” praised Damphousse.
Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.