Defenseman Jaccob Slavin has been busy helping the Carolina Hurricanes jump out to a 4-0 start in the 2019-2020 NHL season, assisting once and scoring twice, including an overtime game-winner against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But don’t think he gets to relax when he’s home.
Slavin, 25, and his wife, Kylie, now have a daughter to care for.
The Slavins were at the hospital to greet their adopted daughter, Emersyn, as she came into the world on April 12, a day after Game 1 of Carolina’s first-round playoff series against the defending-champion Washington Capitals. It was the first postseason trip of Slavin’s four-year career and the first time the Hurricanes had been there since 2009.
Slavin didn’t have much time to savor it; he spent any down time he had flying back to North Carolina between games in Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon’s private jet to spend time with his wife and child.
“(Emersyn’s birth) definitely continues to put things in perspective for me that hockey isn’t the end-all be-all,” Slavin said on NHL.com. “I knew that’s how it was beforehand, but more so now with a family at home.”
The Hurricanes advanced past the Capitals in overtime in Game 7 and swept the New York Islanders in round two before falling in four games to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Slavin notched nine assists against the Capitals alone, including three in Game 7. Then, he recorded two more assists and helped hold the Islanders to two even-strength goals in the four-game series. In all, Slavin exited the playoffs with 11 assists in 15 games.
As if simply being in the playoffs wasn’t enough, Slavin garnered league-wide praise for his play anchoring the Hurricanes’ defense.
“It was a little crazy,” Slavin said of his newfound fame. “Obviously, that doesn’t come without the team success that we were having. So it was fun. I think everyone knows where I stand now, but I’m definitely going to give all credit to God for Him giving me the opportunity and the ability to play this game.”
Now as the new hockey season begins and Emersyn turns six months old on Saturday, Slavin finds himself adjusting yet again to a new role in Carolina: He is now an alternate captain.
He’s only 25 and will be in Carolina for the foreseeable future. Hurricanes management saw enough in Slavin even before his breakout playoff performance to give him a seven-year contract extension in the summer of 2017. Teammates and coaches often rave about the value Slavin brings to the team in games and in the locker room.
“He’s a leader on the ice, obviously he logs a ton of minutes, and how he is off the ice, he’s a class act,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said in the NHL.com story.
Slavin’s life looks very different now than it did at this time a year ago, but through all of life’s busyness, Slavin has leaned on the solid foundation of God and His unchanging presence.
“It’s so easy to fall into being content in your faith,” Slavin said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2017. “It’s so easy to be distracted with all of the other things going on around you.”
Slavin adds #AGTG to many of his posts on social media, and with a post on Instagram in early 2017, he explained what that hashtag meant to him:
With a 4-0 record on the ice and a happy baby girl at home, Slavin is ready for whatever God has for him next.
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