Prospect Viewing: Erik Haula vs. Wisconsin 3/2-3/3

Erik Haula, Center
5'10" 184 Pounds 3/23/1991 Pori, Finland
University of Minnesota (NCAA)

I know we've covered Haula before as a prospect viewing post, but since I was alongside Nate Wells and a host of dignitaries at Mariucci Arena this last weekend for the seminal rivalry series against Wisconsin, I felt it behooved us to do it again.

We have a good sense of who Erik Haula is as a player; someone who likely pans out as a secondary/complementary offensive player at his best. There's no denying he's got good offensive instincts, soft hands, improving skating, and defensive responsibility, but this last weekend is the story of two Haulas.

Admittedly no one in Maroon and Gold played well Friday Night; with Nick Bjugstad out, the team just sputtered (sounds familiar.) Haula was invisible, and in similar fashion to his games against Northeastern and Notre Dame, he seemed to wait for the play to come to him, and there were visible signs of frustration; extra stickwork, undisciplined play, etc. No intensity, no urgency, no want to try and change the game.

Saturday...well...He was in beast mode.

Forget about the game tying goal for a second (the video does NO justice to just how loud that building got when he scored, maybe the loudest I've ever heard in person) but Haula was proactive and effective. Getting pucks to the net, singlehandedly killing off seconds of a Wisconsin power play by freezing the puck along the wall, winning faceoffs (I think he was something like 25 for 35 for the weekend, rough estimate,) playing with passion and energy.

He was, plain and simple, a difference maker.

So therein lies the rub again; two different nights, two different Haulas, two different outcomes. Bottom line is the kid can play, but the most important thing will be for him to learn how to bring it every night.

Photo Courtesy of Craig Cotner

1 comment:

  1. The "non-rough estimate" of Haula's face-off wins is pretty close to the rough estimate (great memory Dan!). He went 22 for 35 this weekend, including going 11 for 14 in Saturday's win.