Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 10 Prospects: #3 Erik Haula

Erik Haula
Shoots: Left
Height: 5'11". Weight: 192 lbs
Born: March 23, 1991
2013-14 Team: Iowa Wild (AHL), Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Acquired: 7th round pick (182nd overall) in 2009 NHL Entry Draft
Previous Rank: 6

"Haula does not seem like a fit to make the Wild roster this year". Those were the words written about Erik Haula on this site last year. Not only did he get a call-up to the Wild roster, he was one of their most important players down the stretch and in the postseason (this is the part where I eat my words from last year).

After starting the first month and change of the season in Iowa, Haula received a call-up to the Minnesota roster. Between November and February Haula was called up and sent back to Iowa three different times before being called up for good on February 24th. In Iowa, Haula was producing at nearly a point per game pace (27 points in 31 games).

After his February 24 call-up, Haula was primarily the fourth line center. His all around play was outstanding (for a rookie), but what really made him a great attribute to this team was his speed. Haula's speed gave teams fits, none more so than the Wild's second round playoff opponent, the Chicago Blackhawks. In the postseason, Haula was promoted to third line center due to the struggles of Kyle Brodziak, and Haula never relinquished that spot through the end of the playoff run.

In addition to his great speed and solid offensive play, Haula was very good in the defensive end which is why Mike Yeo was comfortable promoting him to third line duties. He plays a good two-way game, and will be expected to do so again in 2014-15 starting the season presumably on the third line. Haula could likely start the season with Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter on his wings, so just imagine what a line like that can do if they can play to their potential.

Team of 18,001's 2014-15 Top 10 Prospect List
1. Friday
2. Tomorrow
3. Erik Haula
10. Raphael Bussieres

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

No comments:

Post a Comment