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Justin Faulk (27) of the Carolina Hurricanes battles Tomas Fleischmann of the Florida Panthers for the puck during a February 2014 game in Raleigh, N.C. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

Former Bulldog Faulk signs six-year, $29 million contract extension with NHL's Hurricanes

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Former Minnesota Duluth player Justin Faulk has signed a six-year, $29 million contract extension with the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced Monday.

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Faulk, 22, who helped the Bulldogs win a national title in his one season at UMD and who was on the U.S. team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is in his third NHL season, all with Carolina.

“Justin has proven to be among the best young defensemen in the league as confirmed by his selection to the U.S. Olympic team,” Jim Rutherford, the Hurricanes' president and general manager, said in a news release. “He has been and will continue to be the anchor of the Hurricanes’ defense for years to come.”

Under the terms of the extension, Faulk will earn $2.5 million in 2014-15, $3.5 million in 2015-16, $5.5 million in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and $6 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20, the team announced.

Faulk, a native of South St. Paul, excelled soon after making Carolina’s roster in the fall of 2011. He had eight goals and 14 assists in his first season and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. The 6-foot, 215-pounder followed that up with a five-goal, 10-assist season shortened to 38 games due to the NHL lockout.

He’s tallied three times and added 21 assists in 65 games so far this season for the Hurricanes.

“My buddies let me know once in a while that things are going well for me,” Faulk told the News Tribune earlier this year before heading to the Olympics. “I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a bit of success so far and, obviously, am hoping that things will keep getting better and better.”

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