Forward Pavel Zacha was acquired by the Boston Bruins from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Erik Haula.
A trade by the Boston Bruins kicked off the free agent frenzy. On Wednesday morning, the Bruins traded for Erik Haula in exchange for Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils as the signings started to roll in.
Zacha, the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft, is currently a restricted free agent and must sign a new deal before next season. At the NHL level, the 25-year-old has struggled to live up to his lofty draft position, topping out last season with 36 points.
Zacha will now be able to get the fresh start he so desperately needs in Boston. Zacha has the physical tools to be an effective player at the highest level of hockey. Moreover, with the Bruins’ massive injury woes heading into 2022-23, he might just get a chance to show his mettle in a depleted lineup.
On the other hand, Haula, a 31-year-old player who has a long history of higher production, is much older.
Haula flirted with the 30-goal mark a few years ago and racked up 18 goals and 44 points in 78 games last season. Haula will serve as a great depth addition to a Devils team that needs secondary scoring, and he will provide some veteran presence on a roster that skews younger around Jack Hughes and Nico Heischier.
Zacha has a higher ceiling than Haula, so the Bruins believe that he will provide them with more value in the long run. On the other hand, the Devils see the established piece as a complementary scorer.
They are both good bets. We’ll see how they work out.