Erie native, Carolina blueliner Slavin tabbed winner of 2021 Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly conduct
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin has won the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player voted to best combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability.
Slavin, who led the Hurricanes this season with 22:59 of ice time per game, was assessed one minor penalty in 52 games, for delay of game/puck over glass, and often played against the opposing team’s top line. It was the fewest penalty minutes among NHL skaters who averaged at least 20 minutes per game (minimum 10 games).
“Just the way I like to go about the game, obviously, is to try to stay out of the box,” Slavin told NHL.com. “I definitely don’t like taking penalties. I’m not that physical a guy. I like to use my stick a lot, and so in doing in that I have to make sure my position on the ice is solid and making sure I’m setting myself up for success using skating abilities, and just trying to make sure my angles are good.
“It’s the combination of skating and stickwork and not playing too physical.”
Slavin compiled 15 points (three goals, 12 assists), was plus-22, and averaged 2:43 of shorthanded ice time per game. He is the fourth defenseman to win the award and second since 1954.
“It’s exciting, and hopefully some more defensemen start winning it in the future,” said the Erie native. “It’s an awesome honor to be able to be awarded this award.”
Slavin helped Carolina (36-12-8) finish first in the eight-team Central Division and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight season. A first-time finalist, Slavin is the first Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers player to win the award since Ron Francis in 2001-02.
Francis, who presented the award to Slavin, was Hurricanes general manager when Slavin was selected in the fourth round (120th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. Francis is now GM of the Seattle Kraken, who will begin play in the NHL next season.
“He’s the one that brought me into this league,” Slavin said. “And knowing the player that he was and himself winning this award was super special. But he had a big part in me coming into the league and just giving me the opportunity that I had my rookie year, instilling some confidence in me, just giving me that opportunity. So to be presented the award by him was something that was truly special.”
Slavin has 60 penalty minutes in 429 regular-season games and has had 10 or fewer penalty minutes in four of his six NHL seasons. He has no penalty minutes in 31 playoff games.
During his youth career, Slavin skated for the Colorado Thunderbirds, Hyland Hills Jaguars and Littleton Hawks and also played NCAA Division I hockey at Colorado College.
(June 21, 2021)