Tuesday, September 24 was a sad day for Carolina Hurricanes fans: their beloved defenseman and fan favorite, Justin Faulk, had been traded away to the St. Louis Blues, the defending Stanley Cup Champions. In return, however, the Canes got a couple of great athletes: defenseman Joel Edmunson, who played in 22 playoff games, and 2018 first round draft pick Dominik Bokk, who is currently playing in Europe. While Faulk is gone, this trade give Canes fans plenty to be happy about.
Faulk enjoyed a successful career in Carolina, registering 258 career points (85 goals, 173 assists) in 559 games. Faulk had made a name for himself as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league due to his scoring ability, particularly on the power play. While Faulk provided excellent defense, he was a difference-maker because of his offense. To the delight of Canes fans, when Faulk would score in a home game, all fans in attendance would score free queso at Triangle-area Moe’s locations the following day. I know I will miss that.
In addition to his talent, as previously mentioned, Faulk was a fan favorite. He always had a smile on his face, especially in interviews, where no matter the game result, he always seemed in a good mood. Faulk was very involved in the local community, as he would always be at events the Canes hosted around the Triangle, both on and off the ice. Because of all this, fans fell in love with him.
Faulk is gone now, however, and he heads to a St. Louis Blues team fresh off their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. Faulk will bring yet another deadly weapon to an already deep team.
If you ask me, however, the Canes won this trade. Yes, the Canes gave up a very talented player, but they also received two in return. Start with Joel Edmunson, the defenseman who played a key part in the Blues’ run to their first Stanley Cup title. In the regular season, Edmunson totaled two goals and nine assists. Edmunson led the Blues in penalty minutes (68), and with the departure of Micheal Ferland and Calvin De Haan from the Canes, Edmunson should bring some much-needed physicality (6’4″, 215 pounds). In the playoffs, Edmunson totaled one goal and six assists.
Dominik Bokk, the Blues’ 2018 first-round draft pick, is currently in his third season in the Swedish Hockey League. Bokk is coming off a year in which he totaled 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 47 games for the Vaxjo Lakers. Bokk also played a key role in helping Germany win the 2019 IIHF Division 1 World Junior Championship and earning a promotion to the top division, scoring one goal and adding seven assists. While it does not appear that Bokk will be starting off the season on the Canes’ roster, he could work his way over to the states at some point. How often do you get to say that you acquired a former first-round draft pick in a trade? The Canes will welcome him with open arms whenever he decides to come to the NHL.
Justin Faulk will certainly be missed by Caniacs. Edmunson and Bokk, however, give Caniacs two of many reasons to be excited about the upcoming season. And when the Blues come to Raleigh on March 19, 2020 to face the Canes, I expect nothing but a warm welcome back for Faulk.
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