Erik Haula Has Been Just Fine With The New Jersey Devils

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils have had a magnificent start to the 2022-23 season. It was easy to turn on them when they started 0-2, but they’ve figured it out. Since then, they have gone 13-1-0 including ten straight wins. They have been nothing short of amazing.

One player that has taken some heat, however, has been Erik Haula. He is the only forward that has yet to score a goal. In fact, only Kevin Bahl and Brendan Smith have played this season at any skater position and haven’t scored.

Yes, Haula needs to score. He was brought in to do a variety of things and one of those is to provide some depth offense. That does not mean that he has been a complete bust out there. He has been just fine in plenty of other areas.

For one, he has five assists. That isn’t the point total through 15 games that he has wanted, but it will come up once he starts scoring some goals. It certainly hasn’t been because he isn’t trying as he has had some great chances that just didn’t go his way.

The New Jersey Devils are getting some decent play from Erik Haula this year.

There was one play in particular where Jack Hughes set him up in front of the net and Haula was absolutely robbed. Once one of those sneaks past a goalie, they could start to come in bunches.

Haula scored 18 goals in 2021-22 with the Boston Bruins and had a career-high 29 goals in 2017-18 with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18 so it isn’t like he can’t score. He will certainly bounce back.

He also has a faceoff win percentage of 60.48 percent which is good for 8th in the NHL. Haula is one of three Devils (Nico Hischier, Michael McLeod) in the top 30 which has really helped their possession numbers. They start the puck a lot when he is in the dot which really helps the team.

This is a player that has also done a good job defending. He can play on every line which makes him a valuable player to the coach. Haula has also made many deep playoff runs in his career which is something that can really help this team later in the year.

Honestly, if he continues to defend and win faceoffs the way that he has, it won’t really matter how many goals he scores. There are plenty of other players on this team that are scoring a lot right now.

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Once Haula does start scoring, that will be the cherry on top of the cake. By the end of the year, his goalless drought to begin the year will be something worth laughing about.