Blue Jackets extend defenseman Falk

Blue Jackets defenseman Justin Falk skates with the puck in front of Toronto Maple Leafs center Casey Bailey at Nationwide Arena.  

The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed defenseman Justin Falk to a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract for the 2015-16 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.  As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Falk, 26, notched a goal and an assist for two points with 14 penalty minutes in 18 games with the Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild during the 2014-15 season.  He posted 1-1-2 and seven penalty minutes, while averaging 15:13 of ice time in five games with Columbus after being acquired with a fifth round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Minnesota in exchange for defenseman Jordan Leopold on March 2.  The defenseman also collected 1-6-7 with 34 penalty minutes in 39 games with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League this season. 

"Justin is a good, young defenseman who was a solid addition to our hockey club late last season and we are pleased that he will continue to be a part of our group on the blue line next season," said Kekalainen.

A native of Snowflake, Manitoba, Falk has registered 2-17-19 and 134 penalty minutes on 14:46 of average ice time in 147 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Wild and NY Rangers.  He has also tallied 7-26-33 and 206 penalty minutes in 228 career AHL games with the Wild and Houston Aeros since beginning his professional career in 2008-09.

Minnesota’s second pick, 110th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft, Falk recorded 7-44-51 with 223 penalty minutes and +40 plus/minus rating in 191 career Western Hockey League games with the Calgary Hitmen and Spokane Chiefs from 2004-08.  He helped the Chiefs capture the WHL Championship and Memorial Cup in 2008, finishing second among club defensemen in assists and points with 4-22-26 and 98 penalty minutes in 72 games.