The Minnesota Wild announced today that the team has recalled 2009 seventh round pick Erik Haula from Iowa of the American Hockey League. In addition, the Wild also announced that fourth line role player Mike Rupp has left the team for a few days for personal reasons.
It’s yet unknown where in the lineup Haula will play tonight, but his NHL debut was bound to happen this season. Currently, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher is tied for second amongst all [Iowa] Wild players with four goals and six assists for 10 points in 18 games as a North American pro rookie. Haula will very likely be playing in a top-6 role, but it’s unclear whether or not that’ll be as top line left wing (in case Zach Parise can’t play) or second line center (it appeared Justin Fontaine had the inside track prior to Haula’s call-up). Known as a Finn-esotan, the Pori, Finland native scored 124 career points (42 goals and 82 assists) in 114 games over the course of three seasons with the Gophers (2010-13). Haula was in town for Thanksgiving prior to receiving the call from the big club.
Mike Rupp leaves the team two games into his return to the club after missing the first 24 with a lower-body injury. According to sources, the reason for his departure is a death in the family. The 6’5″ 235-pound winger was acquired by the Wild last season in a trade with the New York Rangers in exchange for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. He would notch a goal and three assists for four points, a plus-1 rating and 67 penalty minutes in 32 games with Minnesota last year.
Remember, tonight’s game is at 5 p.m. Central Time on Fox Sports North. Scott will have your full postgame recap afterwards.