Erik Haula Out At Least A Week With An Upper Body Injury

If the ongoing Lockout didn't zap the motivation to take our free time and write about the Minnesota Wild and their prospects - in other words, sorry about the lack of posts here -  we would  have written about what to make of Erik Haula at some point this season. One of the benefits of having the 2009 7th round pick play in the Wild's backyard is Dan and I see Haula play on a regular basis and the viewings rely less on stats than how his tools translate to the next level.

Unfortunately, this isn't that "what to make of it" post.

Haula, the two-time leading returning scorer for the University of Minnesota and newly appointed assistant captain, was injured in the third period of Sunday's 8-1 win over #1 Boston College in the Mariucci Classic. During a power play to open the period, the junior forward skated over to the bench holding his arm after being slashed and headed straight for the locker room. Erik, who had two assists earlier, did not return to the game although Minnesota was already up by 6 goals at that point.

However, the Finnish forward was not on the ice with the rest of the Gophers to receive his Mariucci Classic All-Tournament team honor. Minnesota head coach Don Lucia stated after the game that Haula would be evaluated today (Monday) and according to an email sent to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he's doubtful for the Gophers' January 8th game against Notre Dame.

It's officially an "upper body injury" but like Russo, I've heard that the potential injury is a finger. If Haula, currently 4th in the nation with 26 (9G-17A) points, is out for an extended period of time it would be a blow for a Gophers team that is contending for the WCHA title. Despite being the second line center, Haula plays in all situations and is a big reason why Minnesota has a tough top-six.

At the same time, this is a player who ended his freshman season skating on a broken foot.

That's all there is to make of it (for now) and once again, Happy New Year everyone!

Photo Credit: Craig Cotner

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