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Justin Faulk signs six-year, $29 million extension with Hurricanes

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Justin Faulk was selected to the USA Olympic team in Sochi. (Getty Images)
Justin Faulk was selected to the USA Olympic team in Sochi. (Getty Images)

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Forget the bridge deal, Justin Faulk and the Carolina Hurricanes are jumping right to the long-term contract.

On Monday the Hurricanes signed the top young defenseman to a six-year contract extension for a total of $29 million. That comes out to an average annual salary of $4.83 million which, all told, isn't a bad cap number at all, especially with where Faulk's game projects.

"Justin has proven to be among the best young defensemen in the league as confirmed by his selection to the US Olympic team," GM Jim Rutherford said. "He has been and will continue to be the anchor of the Hurricanes' defense for years to come."

The native of Minnesota just turned 22 but he has already established himself as that anchor. In this his third season, he is averaging the fewest minutes per game in his career and it's still 23:22 per game. In 65 games he has racked up three goals and 21 assists but with a shooting percentage well below par this season, those goal totals can be expected to rise down the line. Meanwhile his defense should remain consistent.

A second-round pick by the Hurricanes in 2010, Faulk is in the final season of his entry-level contract and his cap hit of $840,000. He's going to get quite the raise.

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