Montreal selects Juraj Slavkovsky with number 1 1 in the NHL Draft

San Jose made a move in the first draft for the post of general manager Mike Greerwho took over this role this week and became first black grandmaster in league history. The sharks were sent to pick a number. 11 to Arizona at numbers 27, 34 and 45. Arizona drafted forward Conor Ghiki, brother of Seattle center Morgan Ghiki.

Arizona also made a deal with Edmonton, buying Zach Cassian, No. 29th and two future picks in exchange for No. 32 in a deal that gave the Oilers some headroom for a salary cap. The Coyotes selected Canadian guard Maverick Lamouré at No. 1.29, and Edmonton selected Canadian winger Reid Schaefer with the final pick in the first round.

After Slavkovsky and Nemec became top players from Slovakia, Rutger McGroarty made Nebraska hockey history when he moved 14th to the Winnipeg Jets. McGroarty, a striker from Omaha, became the most selected player in the state.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman opened the first individual draft in French since 2019 with the words: “Bon soir, Montreal.” When the fans booed him as usual, he said, “Thank you for such a welcome. It’s a return to normal.”

It was also the first time a No. 1 selection had been made by a host team since the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Wendell Clarke in 1985. As the opposition hosted Montreal, the Leafs received the loudest boos during roll call, with some in the crowd chanting “67th!” due to Toronto winning the Stanley Cup last year.

Recent hockey deaths were also acknowledged before the Canadiens went on the clock. Bettman asked those on the draft floor and in the stands to pay tribute to former defenseman Brian Marchment, who died at age 53 Wednesday in Montreal, where he attended the draft as a San Jose scout. Grier, Marchment’s former teammate, paid tribute to him before the Sharks selected No. 1 Swedish center Philip Bystedt. 27.

Children of the Hall of Fame Guy Lafleur as well as Mike Bossywho both died in April, also addressed the crowd.