Fighting for a spot on a team in the National Hockey League is quite obviously a competitive endeavor. For that reason tensions can quickly escalate during the preseason and even at times during training camps between teammates. More often than not though, most of the scuffles we tend to see during training camp tend to be of the more friendly variety, and on Saturday we got a great example of that when a pair of top prospects for the Montreal Canadiens did a little horsing around on the ice.
The Canadiens of course currently boast Juraf Slavkovsky in their system, the top pick at the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and at just over 6'4 he strikes an imposing figure on the ice. Slavkovsky isn't the only physically imposing prospect in the Canadiens system however with 19 year old defenseman Logan Mailloux also coming in at an imposing 6'3 tall. Mailloux was a controversial selection at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft but in spite of that he remains the Canadiens top selection in that year's draft, and on Saturday morning the 2 top picks in the draft did a little horsing around on the ice.
Thankfully Arpon Basu of The Athletic was on hand to capture the tail end of the exchange on video, showcasing the budding rivalry between the two youngsters and no doubt the strong bonds of friendship that come along with that. Here's a look at the video:
To be clear there did not seem to be any kind of genuine animosity between the two men and they continued to carry on as normal throughout the remainder of the morning skate on Saturday. At one point newly minted Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki had a chat with some of the Habs younger prospects, including the aforementioned Mailloux and Slavkovsky, although I can't share any insight into what may have been discussed during the brief on-ice meeting.
Here's a shot of that meeting which also included former 6th round pick (191st overall) Xavier Simoneau and undrafted defensive prospect Arber Xhekaj who has already made some waves in the preseason.