For years it’s seemed like the Carolina Hurricanes were forever on the upswing, consistently picked as a darkhorse candidate to make their way into the playoffs. And this season, they’ve continued to make progress and are currently in the second wildcard spot, just one point from the first wildcard spot. But what’s been more impressive is that they’ve been able to do this without their best defenseman playing at a top level. Justin Faulk has had a horrendous season compared to his career and it’s far from what we expected from the 25-year-old blueliner. Yet despite his offensive struggles, Faulk is still providing value in fantasy hockey leagues and should be pursued in the hopes that he starts getting a bit more luckier on the scoreboard.
As a second-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Faulk was always billed as a top notch offensive defenseman. Entering the league when he was only 19 years old, he instantly stepped into a 20+minute-a-night role with the Hurricanes and never looked back. And by the time he was 21 years old, Faulk broke out with 49 points in a single season in 2015.
However, since then it’s been a steady decline, as Faulk has never gotten back to that high. In the following season Faulk posted 37 points in 64 games (a 47-point pace) and then only 37 points in 75 games in the season after. Now this year we’ve seen Faulk get off to a ever worse start, tallying only 11 points in 40 games. On pace for just over 20 points by the end of the year, Faulk is easily on track for the worst season of his career.
But even with his ugly point totals, Faulk is still providing decent fantasy value. In an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, and Hits, Faulk is still one of the more valuable defenseman.