Scouting report: Justin Faulk


Our Scouting Report series continues today, and I will continue to focus on the biggest need for the Oilers; A right shot top-four defenceman. Last week we looked at Jason Demers, a potential UFA, and today we’ll look at defender Justin Faulk, who would significantly bolster the Oilers blueline, but they would need to acquire him via trade.

The Basics:

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24 years old.

6’0″ and 215 pounds.

Shoots right.

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UFA in summer of 2020. Has four years remaining on his deal.

Current salary: $5.5 million. (Cap hit of $4.833 milliion)


2011-12 CAR 66 8 14 22 -16 29 5 12 0 0 2 1 101 7.9 0
2012-13 CAR 38 5 10 15 1 15 1 3 1 1 0 0 76 6.6 0
2013-14 CAR 76 5 27 32 -9 37 2 8 0 1 1 0 152 3.3 0
2014-15 CAR 82 15 34 49 -19 30 7 20 2 2 4 0 238 6.3 0
2015-16 CAR 64 16 21 37 -22 27 12 17 0 0 4 0 184 8.7 0
Career 326 49 106 155 -65 138 27 60 3 4 11 1 751 6.5 0

Icetime over his NHL career.


18:56        1:53       3:12

82     24:25
1:59       2:42

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  76     23:24    
18:52        2:25       2:07

2013   38     24:00     18:22        2:59       2:38

2012   66     22:50    
17:59        1:49       3:02

Faulk has played top-pairing minutes since he debuted in the NHL at 19 years young. Faulk was the 37th pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft. He played one season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and when the season ended, he signed with the Hurricanes and played 13 playoff games in the American Hockey league. He played 12 games in the AHL to start the 2011/2012 season before being recalled.

As a rookie he played mainly with Jay Harrison, who was 28 years old with only 58 games of NHL experience. He’d played 401 AHL games, so he had pro experience, but not at the NHL level. Faulk and Harrison were the top pair in Carolina in 2011/2012, and the fact Faulk wasn’t completely overwhelmed is a testament to his ability.

During the lockout shortened season he tallied 24 points in 31 games in the AHL before heading to the NHL in January. Harrison and Tim Gleason split time evenly with him.

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In his third and fourth seasons he played mainly with Andrej Sekera and his possession numbers, not surprisingly, improved. He was older, but Sekera is more talented than Harrison or Gleason.

  GP      G-A-PTS      CF%

     16-21-37      52.3
82      15-34-49      55.1
  76       5-27-32       51.9
2013   38       5-10-15       49.4
2012   66       8-14-22       48.2

This past season Faulk played 55% of his EV time with Ron Hainsey, 21% with John Micheal-Liles, 13% with Jaccob Slavin, 6% with Noah Hanafin and the other 5% with Michal Jordan, Ryan Murphy and Brett Pesce. He didn’t spend much time with a proven a veteran top-pairing defender. The Canes blueline is similar to the Oilers, in terms of having a lot of youth.

He was fourth on the Hurricanes in goals and fifth in points. The Canes were 27th in GF with 196, only three behind the Oilers’ 199, but the Canes allowed 21 fewer goals than the Oilers with an equally young blueline.



Darcy McLeod (@woodguy55 on twitter) from took a look at Faulk’s analytics.

Quality of Competition, Defensive Partners, overall possession rate
-plays the toughest matchups on Carolina
-played mostly with Sekera in 14/15 and Hainsey in 15/16
-CF% w/ Sekera was 52.7% while team overall was 52.5%. Above team average while playing against the tougher match ups is a good result.
-CF% w/ Hainsey was 54.9% while the team was 51.9%, so +3% while playing toughest match ups is a very good result.
Offensive numbers
Shot attempts For/60 = 62.83 while team was 56.1. The team gets more shots with him on the ice despite playing against top competition.
5v5 Pts/60 – 0.93. Tied 43rd out of 197 D-men who played at least 1000 5v5 minutes in last 2 years.  Good result, but not elite.
5v4 Pts/60 – 4.46.  Ranked 18th out of 106 D-men who played at least 100 5v4 minutes in the last 2 years.  Good result, not elite.
5v4 IPP – Powerplay individual points percentage – 75%. Highest on Carolina so you can be comfortable he is the one driving play on the powerplay.
Looks to be a good driver of offense, scoring at a reasonable rate while playing against the best. That is a quality result.

Defensive numbers
5v5 Shot attempts Against/60 = 53.63 while team was 51.8, so the team gets more shots against with him on the ice while playing against top competition.  This isn’t unheard of among D-men who play against top players, but its still not great to see it. He’s a bit leaky defensively 5v5.
4v5 Short Handed Shot attempts Against/60 = 48.13 while the team was 43.4 overall, so he was a significant drag on the PK in terms of allowing shot attempts against. He probably shouldn’t be your main guy on the PK. Other CAR D-men were Hainsey 44.87, Slavin 35.17, and Pesce 32.91.



This week’s scouting report on Faulk comes from a current scout, an active NHL player and Craig Button from TSN.

Here is the player’s assessment of Faulk:

body (215/218lbs) who can be physical.

A legit goal scoring threat, especially on the PP. Can
see McDavid feeding him one-timers all day.

be a liability defensively, makes risky plays at times.

captain with some leadership qualities. Has no
NHL playoff experience.

The scout gave these evaluations:

“Faulk has been their best defenseman the last
couple of seasons. Usually it takes defensemen a little longer to find their way,
but he has performed above his age. He logs the most
minutes, plays against
the oppositions’ best lines every game and hasn’t been overwhelmed.

“Excellent on the PP. He has a bomb of a shot and has put up terrific offensive numbers. I would
compare him to a younger Shea Weber at this point in his career, but without as much snarl as Weber. He has grown into a young leader of this
team. Is a likeable teammate, works hard and has yet to reach his
full potential.”

Here is Button’s report:

I don’t see him as an elite #1, but as a solid #2 D-man and a player who can be a key, key contributor on the blue line.


    • With his feet & his
      • Can pass the puck
        extremely well.
      • Excellent shot and deceptive
        in how quick he gets it off, how hard it is and how accurate he is with
      • Can skate the puck up
        the ice and escape pressure.
      • He’s quick and fast
        with very good agility & it affords him the opportunity to shake
        opponents and create space for himself.


    • Vision is very good
      & he can open up ice with subtle moves.
    • Confident & poised
      with the puck.
    • Gets puck to dangerous
      spots at right times and gets puck to teammates who can take advantage.
    • Uses deception and can
      make plays off the fake shot.
    • Recognizes
      opportunities to exploit situations and has a quick strike ability.


    • Wants to make a
    • Catalyst for initiating
    • Has a ‘daring’ about
      him which is more about jamming it down your throat rather than an

vs. him

    • Tough to deter because
      he can make a pass or skate with the puck or skate into the rush and get
      the puck.
    • Defensively, you want
      him to expend energy defending cycle and playing down low.
    • He’s too smart &
      recognizes opportunities so if you are casual or careless with puck, he’s
      quickly transitioning.


    • Which enhances his
      value greatly.


Faulk would be a major upgrade on the Oilers’ right side. He plays a lot EV and would excel on the PP in Edmonton. He hasn’t had much offensive skill to work with in Carolina the past few years, yet he was still top-20 in PP production for D-men. His offensive numbers would improve in Edmonton, especially on the PP with Connor McDavid and company.

He isn’t tall, but he’s heavy and low to the ground. He isn’t a liability in battles along the boards and in front of the net. He’s only 24, and I suspect the risky part of his game will slowly diminish in his mid to late 20s, like we’ve seen with other offensive defensemen.

What would it cost to acquire him and why would the Hurricanes trade him?

I can tell you with certainty the Hurricanes would consider moving him for the right deal. They recognize if they want something good, an offensive centre and something else, then they need to give up something. They are high on Hanafin, Slavin and Pesce. They also have Hayden Fleury (seventh overall in 2014) in their system. Moving Faulk isn’t their first choice, but they will listen.

The Canes are looking for a scoring centre and a scoring winger. Would Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Griffen Reinhart for Faulk work? What about Jordan Eberle and Brandon Davidson?

Any deal with Faulk would have to include one of RNH or Eberle, and something else.

Faulk’s age, skillset, potential growth and four year contract have him as the #1 option I would look to acquire if I was Peter Chiarelli. It won’t be an easy trade, and it would likely cost you a few very good pieces, but I believe he’d be worth it.


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  • shaner

    i really like Faulk and am surprised canes would consider moving him. So obviously if your not necessarily looking at moving someone, then the package will have to be good to persuade you. Id be happy with a huge or ebs + grif or yak package…..just saying. They get some quality with Nuge or ebs and a throw in with yak or grif…….and if they insisted on a swap of picks………..then so be it

  • Stack Pad Save

    Faulk solves 2 huge problems for the Oilers, as he is a PP specialist and can do well logging huge minutes against tough competition.

    I would definitely do a trade of Eberle + Osterle + Reihnhart for Faulk

    If it takes Nuge or Draistle instead of Eberle, than I would still do it.If it takes swapping first round picks, I would still do it. think they might want Eberle more than either Nuge or Draistle because Carolina cant score goals and Eberle is our best pure goal scorer.

    Oilers still need to get another right shot D-man, hopefully 1 of Vatanen or Barrie.

    Oilers D next year would be a huge improvement and that would mean the team would actually make improvements out of the basement.

    Klefbom – Faulk

    Sekera – Barrie/Vatanen

    Nurse – Davidson

    That looks much better than what we entered this year with. Hopefully Davidson and Nurse continue to improve and push Sekera out.

    • Seanaconda

      Faulk and vatanen? They are both so powerplay orientated tho I guess our left side is pretty defensive so it could work but I would assume they would want one more defensive even strength/pk eating minutes defensman on the right

  • toprightcorner

    Faulk is the dman you can over pay to get. He solves 2 problems, PP QB and can log 1st pair minutes. That means you don’t have to get as big of a name/contract for your 2nd pair RD and you can still have a very solid top 4. Demers would be over paid to sign him as well and will get Sekera money of $5.5

    The alternative to Faulk is getting a good top pair minutes guy who can defend and a second player that can be QB of the PP. That will cost at least $10-$12 million.

    With Faulk you can spend under $5 for your other RDSign someone cheaper that has played 18+ min a night like a Lovejoy fro $1.5 or Kevin Millan for 1.5 and they are both better than Fayne. Maybe go a little bigger with a trade, but that costs even more assets Michalek (2nd or Yak, Savard(1st), Klein (2nd prospect),Severson (Yak)

    If you trade Nuge ($6), Pouliot($4), 1st pick ($3) and have Faulk (4.8) and Savard ($4.25). Thats giving up less when Hamonic and Vatanen deals were thrown around who aren’t as good combined. Oilers also save $4 mill on cap. That pays for most of Backes for 3C replacing Nuge, you can add Erikson($5) or Brouwer ($4) on RW and that takes up Nikitins salary. Sign or trade for 3LW like Boedeker or McGinn for around $3.5-$ mill

    Maroon – McDavid – Eberle
    Hall – Draisaitl – Eriksson
    McGinn – Backes – Brouwer
    Hendricks – Letestu – Pakarinen

    Klefbom – Faulk
    Sekera – Savard
    Davidson – Gryba

    I Faynes salary can be dumped and Yak is traded and don’t resign Kassian, this lineup costs the same as last year last season and it is way stronger defensively, PP QB, more size down the middle and more size and scoring down the wing.

    FAulk is the dman that has a possibility of moving , you focus on getting and over paying is okay becasue his cap hit is $2.2 mill less than he is worth as a UFA of equal ability.

  • hockey1099

    Hamonic is done long live faulk. I love that the oilers nation writers keep coming up with articles but I really can’t wait for the next month and a half to be over. I don’t want speculation I want to see what chia pet does.

    Yak for doughty straight up. He was held off team Russia to ensure he doesn’t get hurt so we can get this deal done. Lol

  • RyanCoke

    I understand we need to give to get but why is it that our #1’s are worth so little? Our forwards are fine. It is our core. Yes the same core that brought us to 29th but it is the defence that brought us there. If any other team in the league had the nuge we would be talking about giving up eberle plus #4 pick plus Darnell nurse to get him. It is rediculous. If we give the nuge plus #4 plus Griffen reinhart for justin Faulk then Carolina would jump at the offer. I would if I were in there shoes. That trade is a huge overpay.

  • madjam

    PLAYING GM . I require a right side offensive defenseman that can quarterback PP , etc.. So I am going to keep my core together in the process and thus go for someone like a Demers or Vatanen who’s cost will be far less than ones like Faulk , Karlsson , Subban ,Mcdonaugh etc.. Still a fair upgrade from what we have on right side but much better cost control and many more options for us
    . That then should leave me the double option of drafting a very good offensive defenseman like Juolevi , Chychrun or Sergahev for another perhaps top offensive defenseman in the near future , and also moving up the draft board and adding another piece of the puzzle by doing so .

    We should be able to add one offensive defensive player like a Demers or Vatanen now , and a blue chip one on the way , as well as an additional player by moving up in draft (2 birds with one stone ) whilst still not gutting the major core . .

  • madjam

    The cost to get Faulk as opposed to a Demers or Vatanen would probably be negative overall due to the loss potential of scoring by gutting our core of it’s offensive production . Pushing the offensive problem around basically . Faulk does not bring an awful lot more , if any overall , to our club than the other two might because of that .

        • McRaj

          And In order to acquire that D, you have to give up quality. Why is everyone so opposed to trading a member of the core. This team will not improve without competent D.

    • toprightcorner

      disagree 110%. Faulk would be the best defencman the team has had since Pronger, Demers is no better than Sekera and Vatenen, while bringing more offence, is not as good as Klefbom.

      You will spend at least $5.5 to get Demers (Sekera money) maybe more with so few dmen hitting the market. That is an over pay by at least $1 mill. Faulk is $4.8, an under pay of at least 2 million if he was a UFA. If you over pay by trading Nuge and Pouliot for Faulk, you are netting $5.2 mill of extra cap space which could sign you a guy like Backes to play 3C, can easily move up to 2C and can also play right wing. He is a better fit physically, expireince wise and has the same offence as Nuge. You basically Trade Nuge and Pouliot for Faulk and Backes. Oilers win that trade all day long.

      You then have 1st, Yak and cap space to add your 2nd pair RD like Savard who has dropped down the depth chart because of Seth Jones. Oilers just massively improved defence, added size, toughness and veteran leadership in the middle or wing to make them more well rounded top 9 and you don’t even add anything to your current cap (1st pick $3.4 mill, yak $2.5 – Savard $4.25)

      You still have plenty of money to sign a Brouwer for 2RW or Eriksson for 1LW for more size, grit, veteran leadership and you can add a 3rd line winger like Stepniak, Weise, Bodeker, Versteeg or Chimera for $2-$3 mill range instead of Kassians $1.75. If PC can get rid of Faynes contract or if Ference comes of LTIR and is bought out, the Oilers could fit Lucic and drop Maroon to play with Backes.

      Lucic – McDavid – Eberle

      Hall – Draisailt – Brouwer

      Maroon – Backes – Weise

      Hendricks – Letestu – Pakarenin

      Sekera – Faulk

      Klefbom – Savard

      Davidson – Pardy

      This lineup only adds $4-$5 mill to the cap with Fayne, Ference, Korpikoski, Kassian, Gryba back with the team. Forget Lucic, keep Maroon there and add a good 3RW and you are barely increasing your cap at all.

      That is what over paying for Faulk can do because you gain the salary advantage form Carolina who have to get to the floor without Eric Stall and utilize that money to diversify your top 9 and have at least 1 big skilled body on every line.

      • Bondo11

        I like your ideas. Never thought about Carolina and having to meet the cap floor. They probably would take on more salary in a trade. If not, then they’ll have to make some big free agent signings…..

  • McRaj

    I am quite happy that PC is running the team and not the core loving fans. The fan’s are so obsessed with this core, it is quite funny. Any other team in the league that goes through 6 years (won’t count the Pre Hall and Ebs years) of what the Oilers went through would completely overhaul their team.

    People need to understand that we can afford to switch out RNH or Eberle for a D-Man because we would still have Hall and Drai and Connor damn McDavid. I am looking forward to the day that a core player has been traded just to see the core lovers come out calling for PC’s head, then when the team drastically improves, those same people will support PC.

  • Spiel

    These proposals in the comments are laughable.
    The last d-man of Faulk’s caliber traded was Seth Jones. Seth Jones is not even as developed as Faulk and the price for Seth was Ryan Johnansen – a 23 year old, 6’3, big two way, #1 center who had established himself already in the NHL.

    Johansen is a cornerstone player. That is the price for a d-man of a lesser track record than Faulk. Nugent Hopkins or Drai alone is not going to get it done for Faulk. Nuge an “offensive center” had fewer points and goals than Faulk last season.

    Teams don’t trade a cornerstone like Faulk unless they filling an organizational void or under some cap duress. Carolina has tons of cap space. What is the organizational need for Carolina?

    I’d argue their biggest need is a franchise goalie and some wingers, not a 2nd line center like Nuge. Rask outproduced Nuge last season offensively and is the same age. Lindholm is even younger and had a more productive season than Nuge. Staal is their first line center.

    The Oilers don’t have a goalie to trade, they do have wingers. But wingers are also easier for Carolina to acquire whether is through free agency, draft, or by trading picks – they have a ton of picks in the next two years. Carolina is going to trade their excess picks for winger help, not their cornerstone defense.

    The most likely Oiler/Hurricane trade is something like Yakupov for 2nd or 3rd rounder.

    • Bondo11

      None of us can predict what a GM will do to try and improve their team, which makes this an interesting exercise in being an armchair GM.

      Carolina has always been a budget team which doesn’t go out and spend a lot of $$ on free agents. They’ve been drafting and developing from within or making hockey trades.

      That being said, my proposal would be Nuge, Davidson, Yak, & Korpikoski (retain 1.25MM) for Faulk & Staal. If they say no, move on.

      The Oilers would be taking on 10.8MM and retain 1.25MM and the Canes would take on 10MM.

      Reasoning: Carolina has a surplus of young centres with Lindholm, Nestrasil, Rask, (Malone, Nash, Ryan – UFA’s). Other than Skinner, they have very little scoring depth on the wing.

      • Spiel

        True, that you never know, but your proposal of Nuge, Davidson, Yak, & Korpi for Faulk and Staal truly makes little sense.

        First Carolina needs to spend about $12M just to get to the salary cap floor. Salary retention means nothing to them.

        Second, the proposed players do nothing to help Carolina. Staal is better than Nuge. Davidson is not as good as the other young D they already have, and Yak and Korpi are essentially the dregs of a last place team. Nothing in that proposal says fair value for a top pairing d-man.

        I think you would be moving on.

        Nuge could probably get a good young d-man, but the fit isn’t right in Carolina. Just like it wasn’t right in Nashville when Jones was available.

        • JimmyV1965

          There’s no question that Oiler fans overrate their players, but to say Staal and Rask are better then RNH is ridiculous. RNH had a horrible year and he still would have had as many points as those guys if he played a full season. Having said that, it simply takes more than RNH to get Staal. That’s the reality of the situation. Minimum cost for Faulk is RNH and the 4th pick. That’s the minimum.