Erik Haula Will Play For Minnesota Wild In Chicago Tonight


Erik Haula, the struggling sophomore center, will play for the Minnesota Wild tonight with Justin Fontaine injured.

For the first time since April 11th, Erik Haula will put on a Minnesota Wild sweater and take to the ice as the Wild face the Chicago Blackhawks for game two of the Western Conference semi-finals. Justin Fontiane has been pulled out of the line-up with an injury and is listed as day-to-day.

After a breakout rookie season in with 15 points in just 46 games during the 2013-2014 season,  Haula has struggled mightily. Held to just 14 points (7g-7a) and a -7 rating in 72 games this season, Haula was a healthy scratch near the end of the regular season and hasn’t suited up for the Wild yet this post-season.

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Adding Haula to the line-up isn’t without promise, providing some much-needed speed up the middle against a much faster Chicago Blackhawks squad. You may recall that Erik Haula was one of the best players on the ice during last season’s second round loss to the same Blackhawks squad, registering 3 goals and two assists while playing greater than 12 minutes per game.

This may be Haula’s chance to prove he’s worth another chance by the Wild. Quite thin at center with Kyle Brodziak expected to walk during free-agency this off-season, Haula has a legitimate chance of sticking with the NHL roster next season; however, he’s a restricted free-agent at the end of this season. With Tyler Graovac and Christoph Bertschy both proving they could play NHL minutes if called upon, Haula is on a rather short leash.

Do you think this is Erik Haula’s last chance to prove himself? Let me know in the comments below!

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