Justin Faulk may have become the second defenseman the Carolina Hurricanes will be without when they begin the 2016-17 season as he exited the team’s final preseason game on Friday with a lower-body injury.
Hours after the team announced Ryan Murphy would be sidelined three-to-four weeks with a lower-body ailment, Faulk departed Carolina’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals early in the second period. The extent of the injury is unknown, although Hurricanes coach Bill Peters stated he did not believe it was serious and removed him from the game for precautionary reasons.
Faulk is coming off a season in which he set a career high with 16 goals while appearing in only 64 games. Twelve of the 24-year-old’s tallies came on the power play, surpassing his combined total from the previous three campaigns, and four turned out to be game-winners.
The 6-foot, 215-pounder also notched 21 assists but finished with a ghastly minus-22 rating. He enjoyed his best offensive season in 2014-15, recording career bests of 34 assists and 49 points while playing in each of Carolina’s 82 contests.
Selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, Faulk made his NHL debut in 2011-12, registering eight goals – five on the power play – and 14 assists in 66 games. He netted five tallies in each of the next two seasons before producing 15 in 2014-15.
An All-Star each of the last two seasons, Faulk has recorded 49 goals and 106 assists in 326 career games. The native of St. Paul, Minnesota has represented the United States in numerous international tournaments, appearing in two games of the 2014 Winter Olympics while helping the national team capture the bronze medal in both the 2013 and 2015 IIHF World Championships.