– Justin Faulk
is headed to Columbus for NHL All-Star Weekend.
Faulk, the lone Carolina Hurricanes representative, was among the 36 players named by the league on Saturday. They join the six All Stars as voted on by the fans to round out the group that will participate in All-Star Weekend on Jan. 24-25 in Columbus.
“Excitement. It’s an honor to go there with some of the top players in the league,” Faulk said, moments after the announcement was made. “I obviously have to give thanks to my teammates, coaching staff and management. I wouldn’t be there without them and everything they’ve done to help me get there along the way.”
This marks Faulk’s first selection to the full NHL All-Star experience; he attended NHL All-Star Weekend in 2012 in Ottawa as a rookie participant in the Skills Competition.
“I just want to take it all in and enjoy the weekend,” he said. “It was pretty fun last time, and to be a part of the game this time will be another step up. I just want to enjoy the full experience.”
In the 2012 All-Star Skills Competition, Faulk took part in the Hardest Shot Competition. His slap shot clocked in at 95.9 mph.
Three years later, is it any harder?
“I hope so,” he said. “I think I’m shooting it pretty well.”
Faulk, 22, will next be selected to a team by two still-to-be-named captains at the All-Star Fantasy Draft on Jan. 23, and he already knows when he wants to be picked.
“Last. You get a car, right?” he said. “Yeah, I’ll take last. That sounds good to me.”
He will either be donning a white or black sweater, both which are accented by neon green and a slightly-altered chrome NHL shield.
“Looks like the league is trying something new with it,” Faulk said. “We’ll see how it looks on some guys.”
Faulk leads team defensemen in goals (7) and points (24), and ranks first on the team in assists (17) and second on the team in scoring. The St. Paul, MN, native also leads the team and all NHL defensemen in shorthanded goals (2).
Maybe an All-Star Game hat trick is next?
“I just don’t want to get embarrassed. Nothing crazy,” he laughed. “I don’t expect to score a hat trick. I can’t do that in practice, let alone in a game. I’ll just have some fun.”
And that’s what it’s all about.