The Boston Bruins have already made some noise in the early hours of NHL Free Agency. The team has acquired Pavel Zacha in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, sending Erik Haula the other way.
Pavel Zacha has been traded to Boston.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 13, 2022
Zacha is coming off a respectable campaign for the Devils, collecting 15 points and 36 points overall in 70 games. The Bruins needed another forward and they've now got one.
As for Erik Haula, was a seventh-round pick way back in the 2009 draft and has enjoyed stints in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, and the Bruins. The true definition of an NHL journeyman. He had 18 goals and 26 assists last season for Boston.
Haula is owed just $2.37 million next season in the final year of a two-year deal. As for Zacha, he spent six seasons with the Devils after they took him sixth overall in 2015. The Czech Republic native is owed just $2.25 million in 2022-23.
Although the 25-year-old has yet to live up to expectations as a high draft pick, Zacha did set career-highs across the board in 2021-22. He's expected to be a third-liner for the Bruins, who still need to re-sign David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron.
Zacha is a low-risk, potential high-reward signing for Boston. Even though he isn't the player many thought he'd be in the NHL, Zacha could do well with a fresh start with a new team after putting up impressive numbers this past season. The Bruins are a great organization and should be able to nurture and help him develop more.