Minnesota Wild Sign Gopher Erik Haula to Two-Year Deal


While the Gopher Men’s Hockey program is seeing a mass exodus of players turning pro, the Minnesota Wild is one of many NHL teams to benefit from it. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Minnesota Wild website, 2009 7th round pick Erik Haula has been signed to a two-year entry level deal with the big club. Haula, a University of Minnesota junior, is originally from Pori, Finland (no surprise there, this is the Minnesota Wild we’re talking about) but had stops in Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the USHL while playing a key role on the national level as a junior player for Team Finland.

The Star Tribune’s Michael Russo explained why the deal was for two years instead of three.

In his lone USHL season, the 5’11” 190-pound winger potted 28 goals and chipped in 44 assists for 72 points and a +36 rating in 56 games with the Omaha Lancers. He was a key cog on a dominant Gophers squad during the past three seasons, notching 42 goals and 82 assists for 124 points in 114 games and was named an alternate captain. Haula led the Gophers in points, assists and plus-minus rating while ranking second in goals on a team featuring such names as Nick Bjugstad, Kyle Rau and Zach Budish. In 37 games this season, he scored 16 goals and added 35 assists for 51 points.

Haula will join the Houston Aeros, the Wild’s AHL affiliate, and will eventually be joined by fellow 7th round pick Tyler Graovac once his Belleville Bulls’ OHL playoff run ends. Both young players will add some grit and elite skill to an already talented Aeros squad.