Upon the completion of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, The Rink will take a look at the players chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks on day two of the draft.
Finally is the Blackhawks’ seventh round choice, left wing Josiah Slavin.
2017–18 Team: Lincoln (USHL)
Date of Birth: December 31, 1998
Place of Birth: Erie, Colorado
Weight: 189 lbs
NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: Not Ranked
NHL Central Scouting Midterm Ranking: Not Ranked
NHL Comparable: Josh Archibald
Overlooked last year in his first year of draft eligibility, Slavin had a bounce back season this year with the Lincoln Stars in the United States Hockey League.
Slavin began his career in the USHL playing for the Tri-City Storm in 2016–17. In a limited role, Slavin posted six goals and seven assists in 49 games. Slavin started this season well, recording a goal and an assist over the first three games of the season. On Oct. 4, Slavin was traded to Lincoln, where he was given a larger role. He made the most of the opportunity, tallying 23 goals and 19 assists in 60 games for the Stars to become Lincoln’s second-highest point producer.
While not an elite talent, Slavin pairs good skill with a high work ethic to be effective. Perhaps his best offensive weapon is his wrist shot, which he gets off quickly with good power and accuracy. Slavin’s 23 goals led Lincoln this season. Slavin enjoys using his big frame to get to the front of the net, and with good hands, Slavin can put away rebound opportunities effectively.
Slavin is a tireless skater who shows a lot of effort on the ice. He has decent speed and can get up and down the ice well. Though not high-end, Slavin’s skating is workable and should be able to get to a pro level.
Unquestionably, though, is Slavin’s best trait: his character. He is very much a team-first player. Slavin has a very good attitude and works as hard as anybody. This selflessness and work ethic make Slavin a natural leader. On Wednesday, June 20, the Stars announced Slavin would be the team’s captain next season. Slavin and his older brother, Jaccob, who plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, regularly express their devout Christian faith and point to it as their strength and source of success as hockey players and as people.
Both Slavins are products of the Colorado Thunderbirds, a youth program in Colorado that has churned out many quality players over the years, including Seth Jones, Brandon Carlo, Troy Terry and Nick Shore.
Implications for the Blackhawks
It is hard to go wrong with taking a player in the last round with some skill, good work ethic and leadership abilities. If Slavin pans out and can become an NHL player, great. If not, he can at least serve as a good influence to other prospects in the system.
Slavin will return to Lincoln for one more season. He will then attend Colorado College, where he will likely spend at least three years. After college, he would likely need a year or two in the minors to prepare for the NHL. If Slavin makes it to the game’s highest level, it likely would not be until at least 2023–24.
If Slavin follows in his brother’s footsteps of making it to the NHL, it would likely not be anything more than a fourth line role. But, with the good head on his shoulders and work ethic, he could become a reliable depth player coaches love.
What others are saying
“Josiah is an impressive young man with all of the necessary qualities to be a great leader. He has been an incredible ambassador of the Stars organization during his time in Lincoln. We look forward to working with him, along with the rest of our leadership group, to continue to drive the culture of the Lincoln Stars.”
— Cody Chupp/Lincoln Stars Head Coach
“We like the project there. We think where he is on the curve, he’s gonna play another year and then go to Colorado College. We just like the whole project.”
— Mark Kelley/Chicago Blackhawks VP of Amateur Scouting