Would I consider trading Justin Faulk? If so, what would it take?

Would I consider trading Justin Faulk? If so, what would it take?

First, to be clear, I am aware of no rumors that Duchene is available. My writing is basic speculation on my part based on where Colorado is in the standings right now and the fact that Duchene was rumored to be available over the summer. Also, I am not aware of any sources saying that the Carolina Hurricanes have any interest at all in trading Justin Faulk.   The spark – Possibility that Matt Duchene could become available Tuesday during a lunchtime scrum on Twitter, I got into a conversation that started with me saying that I thought timing was good for Ron Francis to pounce on adding Matt Duchene via trade from Colorado. I think Matt Duchene is a great fit on multiple levels: 1) He skates well which fits well in Peters’ system. 2) He could fill the center slot that has been a revolving door thus far (Lindholm, then Teravainen (and again with Staal out) and then Ryan) and significantly do it in a way that boosts the offense. 3) He brings the perfect balance of being a proven NHL scorer (4 consecutive 20-goal seasons if you prorate the lockout-shorted 2012-13 season) but importantly in the form of a long-term player who is only 25 years old. The Colorado Avalanche are sputtering right now at the very bottom of the Western Conference with only 19 points in 24 games. This is the time of year when NHL GMs sometimes go knee-jerk reaction out of frustration or desperation.   What does this have to do with Justin Faulk? Important to note, I did NOT say that I...
7 D in 7 Days: Justin Faulk – Cornerstone for today and tomorrow

7 D in 7 Days: Justin Faulk – Cornerstone for today and tomorrow

Saving the best for last and also maybe a well-timed look at the future for suffering Canes fans, this post wraps up a ‘7 D in 7 days’ series by featuring the leader of the Hurricanes blue line present and future – Justin Faulk. If you are just catching up, here are links to the previous parts: 1-John-Michael Liles 2-Ryan Murphy 3-Brett Pesce 4-Noah Hanifin 5-Michal Jordan 6-Ron Hainsey   Justin Faulk relative to normal defenseman development I think an important starting point for Justin Faulk is understanding where he is right now and how that plots relative to normal growth. Even good young defensemen usually spend 1 if not 2 years at some lower level after being drafted and then are often still 1-2 years away from entering the NHL. Even then, there is a gradual progression upward in terms of responsibility and where they sit on the depth chart. For every Aaron Ekblad-type headline, there are 9-10 other defensemen who ultimately become great players but do so on something more like a 4-6 year schedule after being drafted. Justin Faulk was drafted in 2010. If you do the math of 2 years at lower level plus most of 2 years in the AHL, Justin Faulk should be in his second NHL season and just starting to settle in start a climb up the depth chart. Instead he is a bonafide #1 NHL defensemen, an alternate captain and a leader of the team in terms of ice time, scoring and just about everything else. Not to be lost in his rapid ascension is the fact that he is...
Justin Faulk – Tracking toward elite way ahead of  schedule

Justin Faulk – Tracking toward elite way ahead of schedule

As a second round pick in the 2010 draft, the Hurricanes hoped that Justin Faulk would one day develop into an NHL player. He has. But I do not think even the optimists would have guessed that he would progress as fast and as much as he has. After winning a spot that was not supposed to be his in training camp after joining the team in the summer of 2011, Faulk made his NHL debut on October 7, 2011 at the young age of 19. He spent parts of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons in the AHL before become an NHL regular at the end of that second season. Leveraging 104 games of NHL experience and chemistry with new defense partner Andrej Sekera, Justin Faulk vaulted to another level in 2013-14. In that season, he continued his solid stay-home play defensively and boosted his scoring to a very respectable five goals and 32 assists. Exiting the 2013-14 season, Faulk had established himself as a capable first pairing defenseman who could play in any situation. His style was that of a stay-home defenseman, but he had enough puck handling and shooting ability to contribute offensively both at even strength and on the power play. He was strong and physical but also very underrated as a skater especially in small spaces. And while he was not a pure puck carrier in the mold of Erik Karlsson, Faulk was sound passing the puck out of his own zone and comfortable carrying it. In short, at the young age of 23, Justin Faulk had established himself as a legitimate top pairing NHL...
The Justin Faulk blog – Next stop elite

The Justin Faulk blog – Next stop elite

A few days ago, I wrote a short series of blogs that spelled out “next steps” for many of the Canes prospects and young players. The funny thing is that while not considered in this category, Justin Faulk is actually fits the group age-wise, especially if you make an adjustment for the fact that defensemen mature slower. Yet at age 23 Justin Faulk has already established himself as the leader of the Canes blue line and an emerging young star in the NHL. But I think he still has one more level to reach from where he is right now. Let’s start by looking at how he arrived where he is today: 2011-12: As a newly-signed 19-year old, the hope was that he would look decent in training camp before heading off to Charlotte for a year of development in the AHL. Right from the start, he was way ahead of schedule. He had a phenomenal training camp, did not look to be in over his head at all and seized a roster spot. But he then looked absolutely horrible in the first three games of the season and was quickly sent the AHL. He returned about a month later and settled in for the rest of the season. It had its ups and downs, but he was clearly way ahead of schedule for being at least a serviceable NHL defenseman. 2012-13: The lockout might have been a blessing for Justin Faulk. It gave him a solid run of time in the AHL in preparation for the shortened NHL season. Over the course of that second season in the...