Erik Haula has spent his entire career with the Minnesota Wild until he was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights. He was subsequently signed to a new three-year contract, coming in at $2.75 million against the cap. Haula fits into a hole that the Rangers need filled at a cheap cap hit.
The Rangers traded number one center Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes earlier this summer and have yet to find another top six center. Although Haula is nowhere near the quality of Derek Stepan, the addition of a solid center would certainly help to soften the blow. The Finnish lefty truly broke into his own as a two-way center the last few seasons.
Haula’s big breakout came in the 2015-2016 season where he scored 14 goals and 20 assists in 76 games. However, he regressed from that total this past season, scoring only 15 goals and 11 assists in 72 games. Although those totals don’t scream “top-six center”, Haula was relegated to a minor role in the forward group with the Wild. In the right situation, he has all the tools to post huge numbers.