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About Last Season: Jaccob Slavin Performance Review and Grade

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After a coming out party during the Hurricanes’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Jaccob Slavin can no longer be called one of the most underrated players in the NHL.

Jamie Kellner

Jaccob Slavin: 2018-19 By The Numbers

  • Age: 25
  • NHL Seasons: 4
  • Games Played: 82
  • Scoring: 8 goals, 23 assists, 31 points
  • Ice Time: 23:02 all situations, 18:50 ES, 1:48 PP, 2:34 PK
  • 5 on 5 stats: 54.65% CF, 48.18% GF
  • Contract: 6 years, $5.3 million per year

Making the Grade

The 2018-19 season was more of the same for Jaccob Slavin being the Hurricanes’ rock on the blueline and best defenseman, but it may have been the end of him being one of the best kept secrets in the league. After a stellar playoff performance for Slavin, the cat’s out of the bag.

Despite playing with multiple partners throughout the season, Slavin was his usual steady, reliable self during the regular season, consistently shutting down the opponent’s best players. The 2012 fourth rounder continues to use strong positioning and stick work to break up play after play in his own end, and is usually good for a spectacular “skater save” every now and then.

Despite the difficult minutes he plays against opponents’ top lines, Slavin’s underlying numbers were strong once again, and he managed an even plus/minus rating, which is impressive when considering the players he matches up against. He also plays on both the power play and penalty kill, continuing to prove his abilities in all situations.

It took some time for Slavin and Dougie Hamilton to be a consistent pairing (Slavin started the year with Hamilton before switching back to Brett Pesce and eventually settling in with Hamilton), but they eventually gave Carolina an elite top pairing at both ends of the ice. Playing alongside Slavin may have played a role in Hamilton’s second-half surge.

Slavin put up solid offensive numbers as well, with eight goals and 31 points.

It was in the Canes’ defensive leader’s first postseason, however, that Slavin really shone. He continued to do yeoman’s work in his own end, playing against the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Mathew Barzal.

Offensively, Slavin exploded for 11 points (all assists) in 15 games. The Canes were swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals weeks ago, but Slavin still sits sixth among defensemen in playoff scoring. He had a whopping nine assists against the Capitals in the first round, and was one of the top candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy through the first two rounds.

As the whole team’s did, Slavin’s play faltered a bit against the Bruins and their vaunted top line, but his play in his first playoff run should be a very encouraging sign going forward.

The best part for the Canes and Slavin going forward is his absolute steal of a contract, the gift that keeps on giving from former GM Ron Francis. Slavin has established himself as one of the top two-way defensemen in the league, and is locked in at just $5.3 million per year for six more seasons.

That bargain for a number one defenseman will be a big help as the Canes look to add a couple more pieces and complete the team as a Stanley Cup Contender. As the Canes look to possibly deal a defenseman for a forward, Slavin’s name should obviously be off the table.

This Hurricanes team is set up for success in the long haul, with the fact that it has an elite defenseman locked in to a bargain contract no small part of that.

Exit Interview

Poll

How do you grade Jaccob Slavin’s 2018-19 season?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    A - Outstanding performance
    (351 votes)
  • 8%
    B - Above average performance
    (34 votes)
  • 0%
    C - Average performance
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    D - Below average performance
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    F - Significantly below average performance
    (0 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now