Detroit Red Wings: 3 impact forwards to pursue signing in free agency

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Erik Haula
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

Under the radar but impactful, Erik Haula

Another player that the Detroit Red Wings should be looking to try and sign is Erik Haula. The forward has become a true veteran of the NHL, adding his eighth year in the NHL to his resume with the 2020-21 season.

He ultimately signed as one of the later free agent signings, taking a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Nashville Predators. The 6-foot left-winger weighs in at 193 pounds and shoots from the left side.

The thing to like about Haula is that he can be a bit of an under-the-radar forward as hinted at in the intro. He’s impactful even if he is not lighting up the scoresheet every night. Last season in Nashville, Haula only scored nine goals and had 12 assists for 21 points over 51 games played.

He’s able to make things happen in the offensive zone. Good vision as a playmaking forward makes Haula someone the Red Wings should consider adding. He’s quick and a puck-mover. Frankly, he’s an upgraded and younger version of Valtteri Filppula who is an unrestricted free agent as well after he returned to the organization for the past two years.

If the Red Wings want to add a cheap top-six forward, signing Haula is the way to go. It seems like over a full season, Haula can get to the 15-20 goal range and pick up assists as well while being an offensive asset to the organization.

Thinking about a valuation for Haula, with last year’s contract being a one-year deal worth $1.75 million… let’s keep it similar. Haula should be hoping to get a one-to-three-year deal in the market of a $1.5-2.5 million contract.

In all honesty, I would not be too upset if the Red Wings went out and grabbed Haula on a two-year, $2.75 million contract, similar to what they did with Robby Fabbri on his contract extension. Haula is worth the money and worth the investment for more than just a season.