The Carolina Hurricanes are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008-09, thanks to a 46-win season. They finished with 99 points, the second-highest total in the franchise’s 39-year history.
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No Hurricanes skater has spent more time on the ice this season than 24-year-old defenseman Jaccob Slavin. He played in all 82 games, contributing eight goals and 23 assists. And now he’ll get his first taste of NHL playoff hockey.
Slavin is also a strong Christ-follower. He grew up in a Christian household, but took ownership of his faith when he moved away from his family for the first time as a teenager to play in the USHL with the Chicago Steel.
“I think it was all part of God’s plan to just really have a relationship with me,” Slavin said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in May 2017. “Moving away from home at that age was a little scary, but once we got into it, the family I was with really helped out.”
He graduated from Erie High School in Colorado, just outside of Denver, in 2011, and was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft by Carolina. But he opted to continue playing for the USHL’s Steel, and then play two years at Colorado College, for which he earned the 2013-14 National Collegiate Hockey Conference Rookie of the Year. Following an NCHC All-Conference First Team selection as a sophomore, Slavin signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Carolina.
Slavin started the 2015–16 season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, and then made his NHL debut on Nov. 20, 2015. Slavin’s been a mainstay ever since, playing in all 82 regular-season games each of the past three seasons — and sharing the love of Christ along the way.
Some people have been asking what #AGTG means, so I wanted to explain my heart behind it and what it means to me. pic.twitter.com/Fcy1X2Fput
— Jaccob Slavin (@Jslavin74) February 8, 2017
“We realize the platform God’s given us, so we try to go into each day thinking, ‘OK, who can we witness to?’” he said.
Slavin and the Hurricanes face the defending-champion Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. The series kicks off in Washington D.C. on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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