This is a part of a series of interviews we had with Hurricanes players to get to know them a little better than just the guys we see on the ice and what the team readily shares. In this post, we share our Jaccob Slavin interview. We hope you’ll enjoy!

Sebastian Aho Interview

Section 328: When did you start skating and playing hockey, and did you instantly like it?

Jaccob Slavin: 18 months was when I first put skates on. I was on a team by two years old, and I loved it, but my parents had to bribe me with peanut M&Ms.

328: Who would you say has had biggest influence on your career?

JS: I would probably say my father. He’s always been there for me, both my parents have actually. They’ve helped me become the man I am today on and off the ice.

328: What has been the biggest challenge in your career?

JS: The biggest challenge is just adapting to adulthood. I mean, up until I became a freshman I was playing hockey for a sport but now it’s for a job, so that’s been a big change.

328: What has been your biggest accomplishment in hockey?

JS: Probably just making it here. It’s been a blessing to make it to the NHL level and I’d say just being able to play against the best players in the world every night is pretty awesome.

328: What is your favorite part or the most rewarding thing about being a professional athlete?

JS: I would say the most rewarding thing is just being able to give back and when you go meet with kids, just to see the smiles on their faces… just the joy they get is pretty special.

328: What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve received in your career, and one you would give to young fans hoping to play professional hockey?

JS: The greatest advice that I’ve ever received probably is from my father, and he just says “be humble all the time and work as hard as you can every single day, and leave the rest up to God.”

328: How do you shake off a loss or any pressure and reset before the next game?

JS: For myself, my identity is not found in hockey, so it’s pretty easy for me to shake off a loss or shake off a bad game, just because, like I said, my identity is not found in hockey; it’s found in God. So, I’m able to go out there with full confidence the next game and knowing that I’m out there to glorify him still.

328: What do you focus on in training to prepare and improve for the next season?

JS: I do weight training, I do speed training, everything… whatever Billy B [Bill Burniston, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach] has me doing, but weight and speed mostly and try to build some strength.

328: Where is your ideal place to skate/ play in the offseason?

JS: A pond in the mountains would be pretty sweet, but it doesn’t really happen during the summer though.

328: What was your first thought after being drafted by the Hurricanes, and first impressions of Raleigh?

JS: It was a little different for me. I never spoke to the Hurricanes leading up to the draft, so it was a little bit of a surprise for me. But I wouldn’t change it for the world now; it’s awesome.

328: What is the hardest thing about adjusting to the NHL and leaving home?

JS: I wouldn’t say the NHL was hard to adjust to just because we have a lot of guys leave home before they even get to the NHL, whether it’s with juniors or whatnot. For me, I got married, and then a week later my wife and I moved out here, so just getting used to marriage and being on our own.

328: How did having older, experienced teammates help you adjust to the NHL?

JS: It really helped me. I remember my first year, Johnny Liles kind of took me under his wing a little bit and he helped show me the ropes. He was around for a long time and he knew how to be a professional day in and day out so he helped me out a lot.

328: Walk us through your game day routine.

JS: If we have pre-game skate, you wake up, come to the rink, eat breakfast, skate, eat a pre-game meal, go home and take a two-hour nap, come back and just get ready for the game… whatever that means for you at the rink.

328: The team has talked about playing music in the locker room before games. What’s your go-to “hype” music?

JS: Anything Lecrae, Andy Mineo, or Trip Lee.

328: Where is your favorite place to go during breaks in the season?

JS: My wife and I love to go to Wrightsville Beach.

328: What’s your go-to healthy meal, and what’s your cheat meal?

JS: My go-to healthy meal would probably be grilled chicken, sweet potato and green beans; my wife and I like to cook that a lot. My go-to cheat meal… anything that sweet and chocolate.

328: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing hockey?

JS: I have no idea. Maybe, hopefully, something else sort of athletic, but I really have no idea.

328: What is your biggest off-ice hobby?

JS: My wife and I really love to play board games, so Settlers of Catan would be up there, ping pong is up there, golf, any sort of things we can do with our friends… we’re just pretty easy going.