It’s taken all of one full season for Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin to go from NCAA standout to top-pairing rearguard in the NHL, but much of that has to do with his ability in his own end.
Don’t take that to mean Slavin can’t make something out of seemingly nothing on offense, though.
During Wednesday’s meeting between the Hurricanes and Ducks, Slavin was manning the point on a power play late in the first frame. As the puck was worked back to Justin Faulk, Slavin retreated back to give his partner a passing option, and when the puck came across the line, it was headed to Slavin’s backhand side, meaning he would have had to slow it and settle it in order to make a play. Instead, he used his feet.
Slavin, in a brilliant display of skill, opened up his stance, let the puck glance off of his right skate and deflected the puck perfectly into Teuvo Teravainen’s wheelhouse. Watch him finish the clever play off with a rocket of a one-timer:
That’s a thing of beauty from start to finish.
As mentioned, Slavin isn’t exactly known for his ability to produce with the puck on his stick, but he is well on his way to surpassing his rookie season output. He notched two goals and 20 points in 63 games during the 2015-16 campaign, and is on pace for three goals and 25 points this year, already with one marker and eight points to his name.
What Slavin brings to the Hurricanes definitely goes beyond his offense, though. In Wednesday’s game, a tough 6-5 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Slavin skated more than 28 minutes. It was his season high, but just one of seven games in which he has seen more than 25 minutes of ice time. The only player averaging more ice than Slavin is Justin Faulk, and that’s by a mere two seconds per game.
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