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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Recently by Jason Gregor:  

  • Great White

    If Hamonic taught us anything, it’s that teams don’t trade No. 1 defenceman. They draft them.

    Yes. The Oilers will draft Chychrun.

    If McDavid is our Crosby, that makes Draisaitl our Malkin. And Nurse, Klefbom, and Chychrun will decide who wants to be our Letang.

  • 15w40

    Gregor – would Carolina entertain a larger trade including other assets that would deal with the glut of left shot dmen in the system and put a right shot centre on the farm as well?

    To Car: Eberle, Reinhart, Fayne (-$875K), Yakimov, Musil

    To Edm: Faulk, Hainsey or Murphy, Brody Sutter, 2016 3rd rd pick

  • JimmyV1965

    Hey Gregor. Love the Faulk. I would trade RNH, the 4th and the 2017 first rounder for Faulk and Jordan Staal. To get them to the cap floor I would give the Canes Fayne and Korpi. We do that deal and we’re in the playoffs next year. Staal doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding team because his $6 mill cap hit runs until he’s 34. Fayne and Korpi make about the same as Staal, but on a much shorter term.

    Staal really helps in the short term because he could slot in as the 2C in the short term and serve as a mentor for Drai. When Drai is ready to take over as 2C, Staal then slides down to 3C. Staal’s size and two-way play would be perfect for the next couple years. Of course, in three or four years we would have to find a way to unload his contract.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Only way I trade RNH is if there’s a 3c available come July. Otherwise I overpay a skosh with Ebs, the 4th and Davidson for Faulk.

    Edit: If it has to be RNH to get the deal done, then it’s RNH and Davidson.

  • Moe Sizzlack

    Hey Gregor…

    You think Buffalo would have any interest in bringing Sam’s Bro Griffin to come play with him, along with a player or 2017 draft pick for RHD Bogosian ?

    Would yak and Reinhart be too much ?

    Pouliot and Reinhart maybe ?

    Then draft Chychrun in 1st round and Tyler Benson 2nd round

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        Interesting article at the Cult of Hockey about Yak having troubles yet again. Russian coach at the WHC says he isn’t paying Yak because he’s injured, Yak says he fine and ready to go. Everything Yak does just makes his value go down.

  • Oilerman

    Lets all agree there is no scenario in this universe the Oilers draft another LHD, unless they intend to trade a few of the current LHD away first. They would likely trade down and draft a RHD before entertaining a new and young LHD.

    There is an argument Barrie should be the #1 target, but Faulk’s contract is very reasonable making him very enticing as an Oiler fan.

    BTW, if we are going to trade out some LHD, I’d rather they take a run at Yandle before gambling on a prospect that has been tumbling in the rankings and done nothing notable most of the past 12 months.

  • Wow. I mean in one sentence you say he is not a true top pairing guy but a great second pair. Then in another sentence you say we need to trade Nuge ++ to get him.

    Numbers wise, size wise, and where he would best slot in, sounds an awful lot like another Petry. I know the contract situation is different, and thus the value, but Montreal sure as hell wasn’t giving up a Nugent Hopkins to get a “great second pair D man.”

    I think Faulk would be a hell of a get, but if its not for a top pair guy, why on earth would you want to trade Nuge or Eberle?

          • Seanaconda

            Was he minus 22 when he was around a point a game before he got injured and sucked for the rest of the year ?karlsson is a minus player he’s gonna win. faulk playing the way he did the first third of the season for the entire year would be in the running for the norris

          • Gordon Bombay

            I didn’t know they handed out awards for playing great “the first third” of the season. Your argument is pretty sad when you even say the player “sucked for the rest of the year”

            If karlsson wins this year he will be the 4th defence man ever to do so, not really a common occurrence like you seem to think

            Go to bed Sean your making yourself look stupid

          • Seanaconda

            Bleh maybe I am making myself look stupid but the guy was a point per game more or less for 30 ish games got injured and then only put up like what 3 of 4 more points the rest of the year. If he gets back to where he was he could be a beast. Also he had an insane amount of powerplay goals which wouldn’t help his plus minus.

          • JimmyV1965

            You don’t look stupid at all. It’s the name callers who look stupid. For the record, Faulk had 30 pts. in the first 36 games. He then got hurt and just wasn’t the same when he returned. Similiar thing happened to John Carlson in Washington. I really doubt he’s about to win a Norris trophy, but just imagine what kind of numbers he could put up on a team with some half decent forwards.

    • McRaj

      Will, Faulk is without a doubt a top pairing D. There is nothing about him that suggests he is Petry level. And Button said that he is a great #2 D-Man. Difference between #2 and Second Pairing.

        • McRaj

          I would think we have a good shot considering the situation Carolina is in. I’m sure originally they would ask for Hall but PC should be able to counter that by selling them on either Ebs or Nuge, both of whom have a career 0.85 points per game (70 points per 82 games) versus the East.

    • madjam

      If we are going big then even E.Karlsson should be one of our targets . Does Ottawa need him and Phaneuf on same team ? Reinhart , Hopkins and a couple of our extra 3rd round picks should do the trick .

      • Keepyourstickontheice

        You’re talking about a defenceman that got 17 more points than Taylor Hall. No way they ever take that offer. Taylor Hall + Klefbom + draft pick is what it would take if they were ever inclined to move him.

        • Moe Sizzlack

          And they still missed playoffs … Eugen Melnyk is ready for a change, I’m sure he would love to grab Hall (he’s younger, Canadian, Dynamic, cheaper, and practically a local) watever Dman we package (Reinhart, Sekera, Davidson) would just be a Bonus

      • McRaj

        AHAHAHAHA first I was going to comment on you saying we don’t need a puck moving D man who can score and be a PP QB while throwing hits, and playing 23 minutes a night. Because you know we already have ample D-men that can do that right?

        But then I saw how you think Nuge, Reinhart, and a third round pick can get you Karlson. Not sure if I should call you a hypocrite for wanting Karlson after rejecting Faulk for being offensive minded, or if I should just accept that perhaps you haven’t been watching hockey long enough to know the value that players such as karlson have. Karlson will cost you hall, one of klefbom/nurse and likely a swap of picks at the least.

        • madjam

          Never said we do not need an offensive defenseman , I just would not pay the price you offer for obtaining Faulk , nor the price you say for Karlson . Both your suggestions are to way to high . As for watching and playing hockey , do you have more than 60 years experience ?

      • toprightcorner

        Your funny, that offering “may”get Faulk, but no where close to Karlsson. You would have to do Nuge, Klefbom and pick to even have them pause after you offered it, then they will still say no.

        • Moe Sizzlack

          Hall and Reinhart would get you Karlsson forsure !

          Id keep Kleffbom to play with Karlsson and speak swede in there PP huddle LOL

          But I like the idea of keeping Hall and sending A draft pick, yak and Griffin Reinhart to his brother sam in buffalo for Bogosian

          Let’s be real here tho.. We’re all dreamers, watever Chiarelli actually does won’t come close to any of our proposals

  • madjam

    We need a NBR.1-2 defenseman on our team , and which hand they shoot from is of little value to be honest . Ripping apart the core is last option in order to fill a hole . Price Gregor wants to pay far to high in core personnel that should be kept . If he wants to use them , then he would be better off getting a better overall defenseman with a better contract as McDonaugh has – and yes , he is a leftie .

    • McRaj

      Of course!! Why trade someone from the amazing core that has led us to 24th place once for a in his prime Top Pairing (Which means he’s either a #1 or #2 D-Man) Right Hand Shot D-Man. Of course we need either Eberle or Nuge way more than Faulk right, because how will we possibly compete for Nolan Patrick if we have Faulk back there.

      Oh, McDonagh has a cap hit of 4.7M until 18-19. Faulk is 4.8M until 19-20. Not sure where you get better contract idea from. Faulk is also two years younger, shoots right, has played less games, has a better points per game average, has more goals, more hits, a better takeaway/giveaway ratio, as well as a better career corsi and fenwick.

      Perhaps you should research the player and who you are comparing him to before making absurd assumptions.

      • madjam

        Your eyeball should tell you McDonaugh is far superior overall , and +- for Faulk is as atrocious as any of our present staff . It was – 22 this year and -65 over last 3 years . He has an impressive offensive touch but tails on the defensive side of things . I do not think we need more of that .

    • Cowbell_Feva

      “Ripping apart the core”

      Like the same core that has perennially found its way to the basement of the NHL and made the Oilers the laughing stock of the league??

      That core?

      Yeah, better not rip it apart to address the glaringly obvious hole that has been missing since 2006.

      You, MacT, and Kevin Lowe need to lay off the sauce.

      • Bucknuck

        Before 2015, the problems were no goaltending, no centre depth and a laughable defense.

        How can you blame the only line that actually scores goals for that level of management ineptitude.

        Last year Chia fixed goaltending, and Connor fixed the lack of centre depth. Losing the entire second line as well as the best defender on the team to injury completely ruined the remote chance they could make a respectable showing.

        RNH, Eberle, and Hall are not the reasons that the team loses.

        Now if they have to trade a player from the core in order to fix the defence then so be it… but the vernacular surrounding the good players on the team is ridiculous.

    • fran huckzky

      You and I are in the minority on this but I agree totally that if the lefty is better than the righty you take the lefty.The only time to give preference is when two guys are equal and you are filling a need. It is foolish to overlook a loot of good dmen just because they aren’t righties.

  • McRaj

    DO IT. Please Get this guy. Would Eberle + Reinhart + Yakupov be enough to get him?

    Then would the Oilers be able to trade Pick #4 and Fayne for Pick #7 and either Murphy/Stone?

    What do you think Jason?

  • Bucknuck

    It’s hard to read the comments section these days. It seems like everyone wants to blame “the core” for all the losses and blow it all up. The problem is that the core is the only good part of the team (and Cam Talbot).

    It’s a classic example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    The team needs to improve on Defense, and they may have to give up some great assets to do it. The perception that the core is worthless and expendable because the team keeps losing is erroneous and foolhardy.

    the goal should be to fix the problem WITHOUT creating a new one.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Agree and disagree. We definitely need to improve on defence and we will have to part with important assets to do so. However, you seem to want to lay the blame for losing at the feet of the defence rather than at the feet of Hallsey and co. Is it the defence that turns the puck over 5 times a game in the neutral zone? Is it the defence that sporadically back checks with enthusiasm?

      I guess with a record like the oil there is blame aplenty and the core, the defence and especially mgmt. should face the music.