Is Justin Faulk’s Impact on the St. Louis Blues Underappreciated?

St Louis Blues v Philadelphia Flyers
St Louis Blues v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Justin Faulk will enter his sixth season with the St. Louis Blues. At 32, Faulk is one of the best defensemen on the roster, consistently ranking in the top two in total points among Blues defensemen over the past three years.

When Justin Faulk joined the Blues in 2019, it clearly showed the team’s faith in his abilities. His seven-year contract, valued at a substantial $45 million, further reinforced this.

Has Justin Faulk lived up to his expectations?

Fans might be pleasantly surprised by Faulk’s career numbers. After eight seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, Faulk’s most impressive statistical year was in St. Louis. In the 2022-23 season, he reached a career-high of 50 points, showcasing his potential and impact on the team.

When Faulk first joined the Blues, he was paired with Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo’s eventual departure for the Vegas Golden Knights raises the question of whether general manager Doug Armstrong had strategically planned for this anticipated change, paving the way for Faulk’s increased role.

In the last four seasons with the Blues, Faulk has faced significant injuries limiting his play in 2020-21 and this past year in the 2023-24 campaign.

However, in 2021-22 and 2022-23, Faulk put up impressive numbers, highlighting a career high in assists and points in 2022-23.

In fact, compared to Pietrangelo’s numbers in Vegas over the last three years, Faulk has arguably performed equally well.

In the last three years in Vegas, Pietrangelo has recorded 131 total points. Faulk has recorded 127 points, with both players missing several games with injuries.

Both players signed large contracts, though Pietrangelo’s $61.6 million agreement is currently listed as one of the top ten highest contracts in the NHL. Given their similar productivity, this is a win for general manager Doug Armstrong.

Injuries are a concern, but when Faulk plays, he performs well. When he is healthy, he is a stable, and reliable defenseman, ranking in the top two positions within the Blues.

Nearing the end of his prime, Faulk can easily transition into a more veteran leadership role. His contract is still valid for several years and protected by a no-trade clause until 2024-25.

More defensemen would enhance Faulk’s talent. Additional skilled players on the defense would benefit Faulk, addressing the area of concern.