Detroit Red Wings: 3 players to target in free agency this summer

(Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
(Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Erik Haula
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

Free Agent to Target #2: Erik Haula – Center & Left Winger

Up front, the Detroit Red Wings should be looking at forward Erik Haula to join the top-six. I wrote that Haula would be a great addition to the Red Wings ahead of the 2020-21 season, but the Red Wings steered clear, and Haula joined the Nashville Predators.

The Finnish-born forward is a severely underrated forward. On his contract with the Predators in 2020-21, he took home only $1.75 million. He is a definite top-six forward who could excel in a role with the Red Wings crop of forwards.

This year, Haula logged 51 games for the Predators, where he had nine goals and 12 assists for 21 total points. It really seems like there is no reason not to be all over Haula. He is a left-handed shooting forward who can center a line or play left wing.

He’s quick and finds open ice, does a good job making things happen offensively but is also a sound defender. He can be a serviceable defender who is not a pylon on the ice or useless in the defensive zone.

It seems silly not to have Haula on the list of forwards to target. Throwing him into the mix of forwards to spread across the top two lines is an exceptional idea. He seems to be receptive to short-term, one-year deals as well.

That being said, if the Red Wings can bring him in on a one-year deal, they could keep him around and flip him at the trade deadline if the offer is right. Fans know how good Yzerman is at executing good trades, so flipping Haula might be worth a look.

Personally, keeping Haula around all season long is better; he’s underrated and would be a great get for this team. When the summer rolls around, they should be all over Haula and look to get him to Hockeytown for the 2021-22 season.