Less than a week ago, Minnesota-Duluth freshman defenseman Justin Faulk was celebrating helping the school win its first NCAA hockey title. Friday he decided to move on to his professional career, signing an entry-level deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, who drafted him in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Faulk, who received a $270,000 signing bonus and will earn $750,000 a year in the NHL and $67,500 in the minors, will report to the AHL's Charlotte Checkers for their playoff run. The release from the team is after the jump.
HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH JUSTIN FAULK
Defenseman helped Minnesota-Duluth capture 2011 NCAA Championship
RALEIGH, NC – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Justin Faulk on a three-year, entry-level contract. 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 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, 19, completed his freshman season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2010-11, and led all Bulldogs defensemen in goals (8), assists (25) and points (33) in 39 games, helping UMD capture its first NCAA Championship. 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 (6’0", 205 lbs.) was selected to the All-WCHA Third Team and 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 extensive 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.