Finland: Curtis Slater returns to the Helsinki Wolverines

The Helsinki Wolverines of the Finnish Maple League have brought back a familiar face with the signing veteran Curtis Slater for the upcoming season.

Wolverines head coach Michael Mattingly on the bringing back the talented veteran:

“Getting Curtis back was arguably our biggest priority. He is an outstanding player and person and is one of the team leaders and captains. We all know what he brings to the team and the game and getting player like him back on our roster is big for us. I’m very excited to have him in blue and gold once again.”

The 5’9 180 pound Slater was a two-way star for the Wolverines last season racking up 435 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver while making 30 total tackles with two for a loss as a defensive back. Slater stayed with the Wolverines for seven games last season before leaving the team to join the Hamburg Sea Devils of the European League of Football in August.

In Hamburg, Slater played in four games for the Sea Devils bolstering their secondary as they made a run to the championship game. Slater finished the four-game stint making 25 tackles, one interception, and four pass breakups during his time in the European League of Football.

Slater is a familiar name to Maple League fans having spent three seasons (2016-18) playing for crosstown rivals, the Helsinki Roosters, helping the team win three straight Finnish titles while recording 161 tackles and 17 interceptions. Because of his time spent in Finland, Slater will not count as an American import according to the league office making him even more valuable to the Wolverines.

Slater commented on his return to Finland’s capital city:

“The biggest aspect of myself re-signing would have to be the potential within the organization and players. I want to see it through with the new changes and additions this upcoming season. Putting the pieces together and upstaging last seasons plus more is the only goal. The expectation never changes, any year and every year it’s a championship mentality attitude, making the players around me better in every aspect, and keeping myself accountable. “

Slater, who was born in Japan but raised in Houston, Texas and who played for West Texas A&M (NCAA Div. II), first arrived in Europe in 2014 playing for the Marburg Mercenaries in the German Football League. In 13 games with Marburg, he recorded a league-high 10 interceptions, five for touchdowns with the longest being 72 yards. He signed with the Hamburg Huskies in 2015 and helped them reach the playoffs in their first year in the GFL and while becoming the sixth-leading tackler in the league that season with 87 stops to go along with five interceptions.

Coach Mattingly and the Wolverines make their biggest move of the off-season so far by bringing back the experienced defensive back. The Wolverines have also re-signed defensive lineman Benjamin Egbudiwe and offensive lineman Juuso Voutilainen. New domestic talent also joins Mattingly’s program as the Wolverines have signed defensive lineman Kimmo Wossilus, linebacker Max Poikonen, and defenders Santuu Jaaskelainen and Thomas Stubb.

Watch Slater’s highlights here

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