What Haula learned from Bergeron, Hall ahead of move to NJ


On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins traded Erik Haula to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Pavel Zacha. 

In his first press conference as a Devil, Haula explained how he found out about the trade.

"Don Sweeney had been trying to call me, but my friend just opened his phone first and I hadn't even looked at my phone yet. I had been in the gym, so I didn't know that it had happen. And then I looked at my phone and I had received a call plenty in advance from Don.

"He's a class act. He would have never done that [not called him]," Haula said, clarifying that although a friend broke the news to him, Sweeney did call him.

Zacha's familiarity with Boston should make for smooth Bruins transition

The 31-year-old has a total of 240 points in 534 NHL games played over nine seasons. He has earned 30 points in 61 playoff games. As the NJ roster currently stands, Haula will be one of only five players on the team who are at least 30 years old.

"Trying to come in as a veteran guy... and maybe bring something to the locker room, bring something to the players that can help the team take a step forward," Haula said about his goals as an older member of the team.

"For me personally, I have learned a lot along the way and I've been in that role somewhat. And just being able to learn from guys like Patrice Bergeron last year... I believe that everything happens for a reason and I think it really helped me personally as a player and as a leader to watch those guys and learn from them."


Haula scored 18 goals and tallied 26 assists as a Bruin for a total of 44 points in 78 games. During the 2021-22 playoffs, Haula scored one goal and earned two assists with the B's. When asked to reflect on his 2021-22 season in Boston, Haula had positive things to say.

"Well I think that it was a season where I could prove again that I could play a bigger role, play with better players and be able to produce kinda like I did earlier in my career with Vegas. We had a lot of success then and so feel like that was a good step to show everybody that I have that in my game."

Haula's former teammate and current Bruin, Taylor Hall, played in New Jersey for four seasons from 2016 until the 2020 trade deadline. According to Haula, Hall has been helpful with Haula's move to NJ.

"I was really close with Taylor. We were linemates and yeah he was one of my closer friends on the team. He texted me right after it happened. Been texting with him and definitely I'm gonna get some insight from him and that will be a great contact for me...

"He said he enjoyed his time. He loved living there. He didn't have many bad things to say so it made me even more excited. You know, someone that I trust and who's a close friend that only has good things to say that's gonna excite you."

As the 182nd overall pick in Round 7 of the 2009 draft, Haula has bounced around between six different organizations throughout his NHL career, including five teams in the last four seasons. 

The top two centers on the Devils include Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. Both Hughes and Hischier were drafted as No. 1 overall picks in 2019 and 2017, respectively.

Despite the steep competition for a top-six center position on his new team, Haula is ready to go at whatever position New Jersey asks him to play.

"First round, seventh round, third round. When you put on that sweater it doesn't matter. You're all the same and you are ready to compete together," Haula said.