Jahrome Hughes knew he was only filling in at fullback when he came into the side in Round 12 however his red hot form over the last month has meant Craig Bellamy had no choice but to keep him in the side.
With Slater returning last week against the Roosters, Hughes was shifted to the halves.
It was a move that spoke volumes to the confidence the 23-year-old has earned from the coaching staff in a short period of time.
"Jahrome wasn't playing in the halves but he was playing really well," Bellamy said.
"With Billy coming back it was either leave him out all together or find another spot for him. Our decision was to find another spot for him because he had been playing so well. It was not fair to drop him with the way he had been playing.
"We like to reward form and effort here and he was doing plenty of that which is why he stayed in the team."
Hughes has been named at halfback for Thursday night's clash with the Dragons.
Melbourne came off second best to the tune of 20 points when the two sides met back in Round 9.
That remains Storm's equal-biggest defeat of the year and one they hope to turn around in the rematch.
"We were disappointed in our performance that day and (the Dragons) were very good," Bellamy said.
"We learned a little bit about ourselves in that game and what we need to do if we are going to go deep into the season.
"It is a different game tomorrow night, a different team, a different venue."