Faulk Leaves UMD After One Season
CHN Staff Report
RALEIGH, N.C. Freshman defenseman Justin Faulk has become the second Minnesota-Duluth underclassman to leave school for a pro deal since the team won its national championship last Saturday. Faulk agreed on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team that drafted him in the second round last June.
Beginning with the 2011-12 season, the contract will pay Faulk an average of $750,000 per season at the NHL level or $67,500 per season at the minor-league level. Faulk will receive a $270,000 signing bonus as a part of the contract, and will immediately join the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL), for the Calder Cup playoffs.
“Justin is a gifted offensive defenseman who excels on the power play and has a big shot from the point,” said Carolina video president Jason Karmanos. “He had a hugely successful year at Duluth and with his strength and build, we feel that he is ready to begin his professional career.”
Faulk joins Mike Connolly, who left UMD this week after his junior season to sign with San Jose.
Faulk, 19, led all Bulldogs defensemen in goals (8), assists (25) and points (33) in 39 games. The South St. Paul, MN, native ranked tied for sixth among NCAA defensemen, first among freshman blueliners and tied for eighth among all first-year NCAA skaters in scoring (33 points). Faulk (6-foot, 205 lbs.) was selected to the College Hockey News All-Rookie Team following the season, and had three assists in Minnesota-Duluth’s NCAA semifinal victory against Notre Dame to set a school record for points in a season by a freshman defenseman.
Carolina’s second-round selection, 37th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Faulk is a product of the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP), and helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, leading all American blueliners in scoring during the tournament (4 points). His international experience also includes the 2010 IIHF World U-18 Championship in Belarus, where he scored the game-winning goal for the U.S. in the gold-medal game against Sweden. Prior to joining the USNTDP, Faulk played high school hockey for South St. Paul High School in 2007-08, notching six goals and 15 assists (21 points) in 26 games as a sophomore.