Canes obtain Finnish center Erik Haula in trade with Golden Knights

Hurricanes’ Waddell and Brind’Amour recap 2018-19 season and look to the future

Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell and coach Rod Brind'Amour hold their final press conference of the season
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Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell and coach Rod Brind'Amour hold their final press conference of the season

The Carolina Hurricanes have added another Finnish forward, obtaining center Erik Haula on Wednesday from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for center Nicolas Roy and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

There is risk involved for the Canes. Haula, 28, scored a career-high 29 goals and had 55 points in 2017-18 with the Golden Knights and added nine points in 20 playoff games as Vegas reached the Stanley Cup final. But a knee injury last season limited the Pori, Finland, native to 15 games and kept him out of the playoffs.

Haula was injured in a Nov. 6, 2018 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs after being hit along the boards by Leafs forward Patrick Marleau. He was taken from the ice on a stretcher and soon underwent surgery, missing the remainder of the season.

“Erik is a skilled, experienced player who has been productive at even strength and on special teams,” Canes general manager Don Waddell said in a statement. “We expect him to be healthy and ready for training camp.”

Marleau also is a member of the Hurricanes after being acquired in a trade last week during the NHL Draft, but the veteran is expected to have his contact bought out and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Roy, 22, helped the Charlotte Checkers’ run to the Calder Cup championship in the American Hockey League. A fourth-round pick by Carolina in the 2015 draft, he had 17 goals and 36 points in the regular season, then 15 points in 19 games in the Checkers playoff run.

Haula, listed at 6-0 and 193 pounds, has one year left on his contract, with a $2.75 million salary-cap hit. Drafted in the seventh round by the Minnesota Wild in 2009, he played three seasons of college hockey at Minnesota and then parts of four seasons for the Wild, appearing in the Stanley Cup playoffs all four years.

Haula has 73 goals and 78 assists (151 points) in 357 NHL games and nine goals and 13 assists in 44 career playoff games.

Roy, who has good size at 6-4 and 207 pounds, played six of his seven career NHL games with the Canes this past season after making his NHL debut in the final game of the 2017-18 season.

Haula should be an easy fit with the Canes’ Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, Finnish forwards who both had career years as Carolina reached the playoffs this past season. Haula played with Aho and Teravainen for Finland in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.