Faulk named to U.S. Olympic team

calexander@newsobserver.comJanuary 1, 2014 

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk has been named to the U.S. Olympic team for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Faulk, 21, will be making his first Olympic appearance. Faulk and Andrej Sekera -- who again should be on Slovakia's Olympic team -- have been the Canes' top defensive pairing this season.

“It’s very well-deserved,” Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said. “He’s a very good player and will only get better and better. We’re proud of him. For where he is at this point in his career, this is quite an accomplishment.”

The other defensemen named to the U.S. team were Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators), John Carlson (Washington Capitals), Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins), Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks), Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers) and Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis Blues).

“I think Justin is capable of being in the top six,” Rutherford said. “I think he’ll do very well over there.”

Faulk has three goals and 13 assists in 40 games this season, averaging about 24 minutes of ice time per games.

Team USA general manager David Poile has said some younger players could be chosen for this Olympics with an eye both on the Sochi Games and the future. Faulk offers youth and NHL experience, and has been a part of several international competitions for Team USA.

Faulk, who participated in the U.S. National Team Development Program, played in the 2011 World Junior Championship. He played for the U.S. in the IIHF World Championships in 2012 and 2013 and was effective on the larger ice surfaces in Europe.

At the 2012 Worlds in Finland, Faulk led the U.S. defensemen with four goals and finished with a team-best plus-9 rating. This year, he topped the U.S. defensemen with six assists as Team USA earned a bronze medal in Sweden.

“I think he's definitely deserving of it,” said Canes defenseman Mike Komisarek, who was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic team but unable to participate because of an injury. “He's shown he can be one of the elite defensemen in the league.

“He's mature beyond his years. He definitely plays like it, and acts like it off the ice. He's just a tremendous all-around player. He's strong in all facets. Rock solid.”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service