Editor’s note: Vegas finally has a roster. It’s time to get excited. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be introducing you to these new Golden Knights players.
The Vegas Golden Knights took a chance when taking Erik Haula from the Minnesota Wild in the expansion draft.
Part of the deal that also brought Alex Tuch into the fold, the Golden Knights passed on some sure-fire defensive talent to take the 26-year-old Haula.
Here’s a look into what the Golden Knights acquired.
The 5-foot-11 wing was a seventh-round pick in 2009. A smart, skilled forward, Haula possesses a great work ethic. He is a skilled playmaker and is effective on the penalty kill thanks to his great speed. His hands are good and he’s able to see the ice very well but his lack of size sometimes limits his ability to get into the scoring areas.
He supposedly has good character and locker room presence, which is a good addition to the list of Golden Knights to be inducted into the Great Teammate Hall of Fame.
Numbers, numbers, numbers
His NHL production doesn’t scream off the page. He had 42 goals and 89 points in his 266 career NHL games. But, over the last two seasons, Haula showed signs of breaking out, producing 60 points in 148 games including 14 and 15 goal seasons.
He offers more production than he gives up at 5-v-5, shown by his 55.96 Goals For Percentage over his career.
His possession numbers, unfortunately, are not that impressive. His 48.53 Corsi For Percentage isn’t great but he improved it in 2016-17 to 51.61%.
Much in the same way we talk about Tomas Nosek, Erik Haula is a perfectly fine depth player who might produce respectably well for a bottom-six forward at the NHL level for the Golden Knights. But, he isn’t likely to be as good as the players passed over to acquire him.
Unlike Nosek, Haula came with another piece (Tuch), which together may be worth having passed on the other players available.
Still, he has seen some NHL production and 30-point depth guys aren’t a bad thing to have. Also, Haula has 13 points in 24 career NHL playoff games which might suggest there is even more to gain from him.