The Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Jaccob Slavin have agreed to terms on a seven-year contract extension worth $37.1 million, the team announced Wednesday. The 23-year-old blueliner is heading into the final year of his entry-level contract and will receive a sizable pay raise from his current cap hit of $742,500
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) July 12, 2017
Slavin was originally drafted in the fourth-round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with the 120th overall pick out of the USHL. In his rookie season with the team, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound defender scored two goal and 20 points in 63 games but showed signs of shutdown ability. In his sophomore season, his first full year in the league with 82 games played, Slavin recorded career-high totals in multiple scoring categories, including five goals, 29 assists and 34 points – including four while shorthanded.
“Jaccob is one of the cornerstones of our team moving forward, and it was important to secure him with our organization long term,” said Hurricanes’ general manager Ron Francis. “We believe he is one of the top young defensemen in the NHL today, and are thrilled that he and his wife, Kylie, have made their home in Raleigh.”
Hurricanes Blue Line Set for the Future
One of the better young shutdown blueliners in the NHL at just 23 years old, Slavin will be under contract with the Hurricanes until he’s 31 years old. On a young Hurricanes team that features multiple talented blueliners including Justin Faulk (25 years old), Noah Hanifin (20 years old), Brett Pesce (22 years old) and recently-acquired blueliner Trevor Van Riemsdyk, the Hurricanes blueline has the potential to be one of the NHL’s best for years to come. An issue for the Hurricanes could stem from the salary that each of these blueliners will command, however, as Faulk comes with a cap hit of $4.833 million for the next three seasons, Slavin’s $5.3 million cap hit kicks in next season and the team will also need to re-sign Pesce, Van Riemsdyk, Hanifin and Klas Dalbeck after the 2017-18 season.
Fortunately, however, the Hurricanes currently have every one of their players signed with the exception of Phillip Di Giuseppe with $17.2 million of available cap space remaining. One of the teams in the NHL that imposes a self-induced salary cap, the Hurricanes are barely at the salary floor which is set at $55.4 million for the 2017-18 league year. Due to that significant salary cap space and the ability to move young blueliners for offensive talent up front, the Hurricanes appear to be in a good situation in that regard. Extending Slavin to such a big deal with so much term and money committed might seem like a lot to some on the outside, but anybody who has seen his ability can vouch for the fact that he’s worth it. Having so much cap space also helps as he’s a player the Hurricanes simply love and didn’t want to lose.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.