A lot of people in town are moaning about the heat. Jaccob Slavin is not one of them.
Slavin, a defenseman drafted last week by the Canes, has a bigger concern than 100-degree temperatues. He's from Erie, Colo., and said his home is about 30 minutes away from one of the wildfires that have ravaged his home state.
"The one in Boulder is pretty close to my house, in the mountains west of us," Slavin said Friday. "I think we're out of range but it's still a little scary. There's been a few wildfires before in Colorado but there's three right now. It's pretty crazy.
"It's hard to contain them. It's so dry there right now. We haven't gotten rain there for a while. It's difficult."
President Obama was in Colorado on Friday and declared it a "major disaster." More than 30,000 people have been evacuated from the Colorado Springs area and hundreds of homes have been lost.
For now, though, Slavin said he's trying to keep his mind on hockey. The 6-1, 160-pounder was taken in the fourth round -- 120th overall -- by the Canes in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and is spending the week with other prospects at rookie conditioning camp.
"I feel like my family is all right but I'm definitely keeping everybody is mind, for sure," he said.
Slavin, 18, spent parts of the past two years with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, scoring three goals and earning 27 assists (30 points) in 60 games last season.
"I got a lot of playing time there, so I definitely developed," Slavin said. "I was able to play in every situation and learned to adapt to anything thrown at me. That helped my poise and control and being to be out there with confidence."
Slavin, who has plans to attend Colorado College, said he wants to put on weight. He wants to improve his offensive game and score more goals. He said he has long admired Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings and has tried to emulate his play -- and said he is "bummed" to see Lidstrom retire.
As Slavin wiped away some sweat Friday, he called the prospects camp a "great experience." He has run the steps at PNC Arena, done the 100-yard sprints, been on the bike, put in late-afternoon skating workouts.
"It has been very busy, one thing to the next," he said, smiling.
Like so many, Slavin's dream is to play in the NHL one day. A person of strong faith, he believes he'll make it.
"I think if I work hard enough, God has a plan for me," he said. "I think everything will work out."