Originally written January 14, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
RALEIGH, N.C. -- In the span of nine months, Carolina Hurricanes' rookie defenseman Justin Faulk has gone from a star leading Minnesota-Duluth to the national championship to an NHL All-Star. The 39 weeks filling that sizeable gap since winning a college title have been full of an emotional roller coaster, and certainly plenty of change for the 19-year-old from South St. Paul, MN. And Saturday night versus the Boston Bruins, Faulk continued celebrating the news by scoring the tying goal with 6:02 left in the contest and was on the ice when Jay Harrison netter the game-winner with 1:30 left to play in the 4-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champions. An Eric Staal empty-netter 28 seconds later finished off the scoring. "It's nice when we contribute offensively," Faulk said about himself and Harrison, who has mentored the teen. "Obviously, our main focus there is if you get the puck started to have a pretty good offense It was nice to get some offense." After the exhilaration of the NCAA title, Faulk played 13 games for the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL (Calder Cup) playoffs, made the Carolina Hurricanes' opening night roster, was sent back to Charlotte and brought back twice, the last time keeping him with the big club for good. Faulk was also named to the U.S. World Junior team, but couldn't continue on because of his NHL obligations. Now, Faulk will play in the All-Star Game in Ottawa on Jan. 29. "It's been a fun year for me," said Faulk, who is one of 12 rookies that will be involved in the Skills Competition the day before the All-Star game. "I'm honored to play on all of these teams I've been playing on and I'm going to keep fighting to make good things happen." In addition, Faulk was living in a hotel in Raleigh until recently. What a whirlwind the last nine months have been? "It's the way it is. It's sometimes part of the game," he said. "I'm going to keep coming in every night, play as hard as you can and be mentally ready and the physical part. But there's a lot to the mental part, and you just have to bear down and be ready to go." Hurricanes phenom Jeff Skinner made the All-Star Game a year ago as a rookie last season as an 18-year-old rookie. Eric Staal, who won the MVP, and goalie Cam Ward joined him in the majestic event that was held here in Raleigh. Faulk learned of the selection several days ago, but his teammates found out first and walked into the room he was sitting and offered the news. Faulk thought they were kidding so he got online to make sure, and there his name was as an All-Star. Last recalled on Nov. 17, Faulk has four goals and 11 points on the season, but four points two goals and two assists in the last five contests. He's beginning to justify his selection. "There's a lot of people in the league still unaware of how good this guy is," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "He'll go up and get showcased in Ottawa, and I think after that the exposure is really going to take off." Muller said highly skilled young offensive players are easy to notice, but those who don't often have the puck on their stick sometimes get overlooked. But the Canes' staff is impressed by how Faulk executes his zone coverage, how he uses his body against bigger bodies and the maturity needed to play that way. "That's very impressive for his age," Muller said. "He's going to get better, his composure with the puck has been great. He's going to be really good."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five things to watch in the AL Wild Card game

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Tracking demanding career paths of all Top 25 head coaches

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

AL Wild Card preview

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Raiders to make a run at Jon Gruden?

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

NFL admits error on Abdullah penalty

Best, worst MLB players in Sept.

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.