Haula is Fifth Gopher to Leave Early
CHN Staff Report
Minnesota lost its fifth player to early departure this week, as junior forward Erik Haula signed an entry-level contract with the NHL's Minnesota Wild.
The Wild selected Haula in the seventh round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (182nd overall). Haula is expected to finish out the season with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL).
In 114 career games, Haula had 124 total points and 42 goals as the first Gopher since Ryan Potulny (2003-06) to finish his collegiate career with an average of more than a point a game.
Minnesota also lost Mark Alt, Nate Schmidt, Nick Bjugstad and Zach Budish.
The Pori, Finland native improved his offensive performance in each of his three seasons with Minnesota, starting with a 24-point freshman campaign in 2010-11. Haula’s sophomore season saw the forward lead Minnesota in scoring with 49 points and a career-high 20 goals as the Gophers captured the team’s first MacNaughton Cup since 2006-07 and returned to the NCAA Frozen Four for the 20th time in program history and the first time since 2005.
In his final season with the team, Haula served as an alternate captain and recorded Minnesota’s first 50-point season since 2005-06, finishing the season with a career-best 51 points and 35 assists.
Only the second player ever at Minnesota to hail from outside of North America, Haula ranks tied for 49th all-time in scoring at Minnesota. The forward held a plus-47 rating for his career including a personal-best plus-20 as a junior in 2012-13.