Interview with Thrashers Prospect Jim Slater

By Matt Gunning

Jim Slater was the Thrashers’ second selection in the 2002 Entry Draft, at the 30th position. The 6’0″, 190lb center will be a sophomore at Michigan State University in 2002-03.

With the assistance of the Atlanta Thrashers, Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to ask Jim a few questions during the Thrashers Prospect Camp held in July.

HF: How would you describe your game to someone who has never seen you play?
JS: Basically just a high energy type of player who will go out there and pretty much do anything to get the win for our team and organization. I love the body contact, love hitting, love having the whole game on my shoulders. Basically just going out there and getting my team pumped up, giving them an extra little spark.

HF: Did you have any specific goals for yourself this last season?
JS: Not really, just team goals, definitely win the national championships, as many championships as Michigan State could because it’s a tradition there. No really personal goals except getting my draft status up to where it could be, and I think I accomplished that.

HF: Is there any particular person who has been influential in your development?
JS: I wouldn’t say one, there are a lot of different people I’ve taken a lot of things from. My parents were right there, supportive, giving me confidence. They really made the sacrifice and really showed me what it takes to actually be a player. I took that from them. I wouldn’t say there was only one person, but my parents are pretty big.

HF: Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
JS: No, not really. I don’t get nervous, I’m more anxious to get out on the ice and start playing. I don’t really do anything special, just the pre-game meal, come to the rink an hour and a half early, get ready to go to battle.

HF: What has been the biggest adversity in your hockey career?
JS: I moved away from home when I was 15 years old to play juniors. I moved away from my family and friends — basically that was the biggest adversity I had. Learning how to cook, living with a different family, going to a different school, meeting new friends was really big. But I came through that and it actually helped me for college. Most kids come to college and haven’t ever been through that, but I’d been through it for three years. It really helped me both on the ice and off the ice.

HF: What is the highlight of your hockey career prior to the NHL draft?
JS: The highlight of my career was probably getting a full scholarship to Michigan state and going to such a great school both academically and sports-related. Definitely the Cold War, that’s a world-record game and no one is going to beat that. I had a good game, so probably that too.