Late on Wednesday night, or early Thursday morning depending on location, Carolina took advantage of their cap space and acquired centre Erik Haula from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2021. The conditions can be found here.
Haula missed most of 2018-19 with a gruesome knee injury suffered about six weeks into the season. He had 62 points in 91 career regular season games with the Golden Knights.
Roy had 74 points in 141 career games in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers. His Dobber Prospects profile can be found here.
What Vegas gets
Though he’s never been a highly-touted prospect, the 6’4” Roy has showed some growth over his time in the AHL and had a very good showing in the 2019 playoffs. He has the ability to play at both ends and can chip in some scoring. That has the makings of a potential 3C down the road.
It’ll have to be down the road for Roy. Vegas just re-signed William Karlsson long-term, Paul Stastny has two years left (assuming he doesn’t get traded) and Cody Eakin has one. If they stay healthy, there’s just no immediate spot for Roy in the lineup. His 2019-20 AHL season will go a long way in determining if he’s the 3C for Vegas in 2020-21 or not.
What Carolina gets
Haula is a very capable third-line centre who has one year left on his current deal with a $2.75M average annual value. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this year.
To say that he’s a third-line centre might do him a disservice to Haula. He could probably be a 2C on a handful of teams in the league. But with Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal around, Haula will be the 3C in Carolina.
The best description of Haula is this from Corey Sznajder: jack of all trades, master of none. It’s not meant to degrade Haula’s abilities, either. It’s just to say he’s solid at everything. He’s solid defensively, in transition, and offensively. Few players in the league, and even fewer at that cap hit, can boast the same.
Picturing this in my head, I imagine the team runs Aho-Staal-Haula-Wallmark down the middle. That means we’re probably going to have to wait one more year for Martin Necas to be a full-time player for Carolina. There is the chance he comes up as a winger, and he’ll get the call if there’s an injury, but for now I’m assuming this means Carolina plans to leave Necas in the AHL for another year.
I don’t have projections but I’d be leery of him reaching his 2017-18 mark in terms of production. He won’t get the same level of ice time or quality of line mates. Something along the lines of 15-20 goals and 40 points sounds about right.
Who this helps
Who this hurts