After being diagnosed with a MCL sprain, Justin Faulk was said to be sidelined for two to four weeks. Today, Faulk practiced for the first time with assistant coach Dave Lewis, and has joined the Carolina Hurricanes on their recent road trip. Faulk has not played since March 19th against the Florida Panthers when he took a hit to the leg behind the Canes net.
Faulk was drafted in the second round (37th overall) in the 2010 NHL draft. The Minnesota native played his first season last year and was praised by his coaches and GM. Many were surprised he wasn’t nominated for the Calder Trophy with his stellar defensive play.
The Hurricanes have struggled without Faulk in the lineup due to their lack of defensive depth. At 21 years old Faulk is already one of the Hurricanes best defensemen and can be used in every game scenario. The team has only won one game in their last eight and has fallen out of the top eight in the East.
Faulk has 10 points in 28 games this season and has a plus-4 plus minus. Even though he has missed five games this season, he still leads the team’s defense in shots with 49. He also eats up a lot of ice time and regularly plays against the other team’s best players. The team is also missing his skill on the power play and penalty kill, as both have been below average. Faulk will be a key player in cutting down the team’s goals against average and propelling them to a better position in the conference.