July 28, 2021 by Jonathan Amatulli
The Boston Bruins have signed forwards Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek to multi-year deals. Nosek signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract, and Haula signed for two years and $4.75 million. After losing several depth forwards in free agency, general manager Don Sweeney has made his moves in an effort to replace some production lost in the team’s bottom six.
Nosek comes to Boston after spending the last four seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. He was selected in the 2017 expansion draft from the Detroit Red Wings, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. Nosek was an important part of the fourth line for the Golden Knights and looks like he could assume the same role with the Bruins.
Haula was a teammate of Nosek’s in Vegas but spent last season with the Nashville Predators. Boston will be the veteran’s sixth NHL team and the fourth franchise he’s been a part of in the past four years. He will be looking to stick around in Boston after struggling to stay healthy and being on the move frequently in recent years.
Value to the Bruins
Haula is the more experienced of the two, amassing over 450 games across his eight NHL seasons. He can play center or wing, and his versatility will be a huge addition to the Bruins’ bottom-six forward group. He had a career year in his first season with the Golden Knights, putting up 29 goals and 55 points in 76 games. He has struggled to stay healthy since, appearing in just 114 games over the next three seasons.
If Haula is able to return to form with the Bruins, he can be a huge value addition on a relatively team-friendly contract. He should be able to claim a role on Boston’s third line, likely alongside Jake DeBrusk, and both players could use a rebound campaign. With his track record in Vegas and the leadership he brings to the table, Boston should be very pleased with the output they get from Haula on this deal.
Nosek is not as prolific of a point producer as Haula is, but his value instead lies in the physicality and grit he brings. He played on Vegas’ tough fourth line with William Carrier and Ryan Reaves for much of his time with the Golden Knights and could play a similar role with the Bruins. Boston lost some grit with the departures of Nick Ritchie and Sean Kuraly and make up for some of that by adding Nosek.
He could realistically find himself playing between Chris Wagner and one of Trent Frederic and Karson Kuhlman. The 6-foot-2 center would be a great fit alongside Frederic, who hasn’t earned many opportunities with the Bruins but could be in for an expanded role with the loss of both Kuraly and Ritchie. At 6-foot-2 himself, Frederic is among the biggest forwards Boston has and could mesh well with Nosek and his physical playing style.