Jaccob Slavin: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Jaccob Slavin: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article. Jaccob Slavin’s starting point for the 2016-17 season After making development strides in his third season with the Chicago Steel in the USHL and then two seasons at Colorado College after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL draft, Slavin signed his NHL entry-level contract and moved to the professional level for the 2015-16 season. He had a strong training camp, made an impression that suggested he was closer to NHL-ready maybe than expected but ultimately departed for the AHL at the end of camp. After a short 14-game stint in Charlotte, Jaccob Slavin was called up from the AHL and made his NHL debut on November 20, 2016. Initially, Slavin looked comfortable and capable in a third pairing role, and he progressed rapidly from that modest starting point. From the point when Justin Faulk first went down with an injury before a game on February 12, Slavin averaged an even 24:00 of ice time in a top pairing role and grew to become the team’s best defenseman down the stretch. The run of about 30 games was eye-opening and had Slavin clearly on an upward trajectory heading into the 2016-17 season.   Jaccob Slavin’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes As impressive as Slavin was in the second half of the 2015-16, he entered the 2016-17 season with only 63 games of NHL experience. With the departure of John-Michael Liles at the 2016 trade deadline and no top half of...
Case and expected terms for Hurricanes re-signing Jaccob Slavin early

Case and expected terms for Hurricanes re-signing Jaccob Slavin early

First, it important to remind everyone that nothing needs to happen contract-wise with Jaccob Slavin this summer nor is it a red flag if he just pushes forward into the 2017-18 season on his current deal. He is already under contract for 2017-18. But I am on record as thinking that Ron Francis should and will extend Jaccob Slavin early. On April 6, 2016, my Daily Cup of Joe article made the case to re-sign Jaccob Slavin early both based on his individual situation but also significantly because of his contract’s ability to set a ceiling and pave the way for pricing the run of defensemen contracts coming in the next few years. On April 20, I included a Slavin re-signing in my article entitled, “5 Carolina Hurricanes predictions for the offseason.” His contract situation was also discussed in my article this week detailing the the Hurricanes NHL-level free agents to be addressed this summer. This article will take a fairly thorough look at comparable players, analyze the price range for his next contract and take a shot at predicting the terms of his next deal if it does in fact happen this summer.   Three kinds of comparables for Jaccob Slavin In going team by team through the salary charts on CapFriendly, one thing that jumps out is how many players fall roughly into the category of “young-ish defenseman playing in the top 4 on contracts that lock them up long-term.” A few players are sort of borderline and maybe not as relevant, but I have a spreadsheet with 39 players on it. At a basic level, there is...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Jaccob Slavin/Brett Pesce edition

Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Jaccob Slavin/Brett Pesce edition

There are other candidates including Cam Ward’s resurgence in net, Jeff Skinner leading the way offensively and Sebastian Aho hopping straight into the NHL without missing a beat. But thus far in 2016-17, my favorite Carolina Hurricanes story line is the emergence of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce as a legitimate top defense pairing comprised of a couple 22-year olds in their second seasons in the NHL. This week’s Sunday Canes Chronicle features articles about Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin both past and present.   Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce on the ice Chris Miracle at Fansided’s Cardiac Cane offers this assessment of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce’s strengths that have enabled them to excel at the NHL level. On November 3, Matt Barlowe at Fansided’s Cardiac Cane called Brett Pesce the Canes’ best defenseman at that point and offered statistics to back it up. Shortly after the duo was united in mid-October, I offered this early evaluation of their play together on October 24. Cory Lavalette at the North State Journal profiles the Hurricanes league-leading penalty kill which features Slavin/Pesce in a key role.   Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin – The early days As part of my ‘7D in 7 days’ series on the Canes blue line, I offered this detailed article on Brett Pesce in early November of 2015 after his initial run of games at the NHL level. Similarly, in late November of 2015 with first impressions at the NHL level in hand, I asked if Jaccob Slavin was the “greatest harbinger of the Hurricanes future.”   Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce off the ice...
Growing up together: Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce

Growing up together: Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce

When required to put forward his opening face-off lineup first, the go-to for Coach Bill Peters is usually to ice Jordan Staal’s checking line along with the top defense pairing basically either chasing the other team’s best line off the ice for the first 45 seconds or forcing them to play against the Canes best. On Saturday, the Staal line started as did the sophomore pairing of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce. Pairings and pecking order are subject to change multiple times over the course of a long NHL season, but I think it is fair to call the Slavin/Pesce pairing the team’s best right now. Veterans Justin Faulk and Ron Hainsey started slow and have since been reunited. I detailed Faulk’s struggles in the first 2 games HERE. And Ron Hainsey was too often in the middle of the mess detailed in my game recap for the loss to the Flyers on Saturday.   The 2 sides of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce Defense Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin are the Hurricanes 2 best blue liners right now in terms of that all-important ‘defense’ part of being a defenseman. Through 5 games, I think Brett Pesce is the team’s best at defending in his own end and the volume of small but important decisions each shift in terms of positioning and decision-making. He is light years ahead of anything reasonable in terms of being sound in his own end. And I would rate Jaccob Slavin as the team’s best in terms of defending off the rush. His ability to take away space in the neutral zone and step up...
Is Jaccob Slavin the greatest harbinger of the Hurricanes future?

Is Jaccob Slavin the greatest harbinger of the Hurricanes future?

In 1 specific way, I say yes.   Important to note Justin Faulk as being in a different category Before going too far down that path, let me first make sure I give credit where it is due. First, my comment is mostly about comparing and contrasting the early and incredibly positive development of the Canes young blue line. I did not include Justin Faulk in this comparison. One could actually based on his young age at 23, but he is farther along development-wise.   And it is not a race or contest for which young D prospect is best It is also important to make sure that we as Canes fans do not get bogged down trying to pick winners and losers. To make the blue line a strength capable of leading the way back to the playoffs, it needs multiple of these players to eventually become great. And each having different strengths and skill sets is fine. It hopefully makes for complementary set of skills among the players.   The other young D have also been really good It is also important to recognize the progress thus far and upside for the other 2 rookie defensemen. Of the 3, I think Brett Pesce is by far the most advanced in terms of NHL readiness especially in terms of defending without the puck. With him now approaching 20 games in the lineup, it is becoming easier to take him for granted at this point and lose track of how incredibly impressive what he is doing is. Of the 3 and despite the strong play of the other 2,...