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Devils Trade Zacha to Bruins for Haula

The Boston Bruins have acquired forward Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Erik Haula.
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The Boston Bruins kicked off free agent frenzy with a trade. 

As the signings begin to roll in, the Bruins opted to dip their toes into the trade market on Wednesday morning, acquiring forward Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Erik Haula. 

Zacha, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft, is current a restricted free agent and requires a new deal prior to next season. The 25-year-old has struggled to live up to his lofty draft position at the NHL level, topping out at 36 points last season, which stands as a career-high. 

In Boston, Zacha will now get the fresh start that he sorely needs. A big body, Zacha has all the tools to be an effective contributor at hockey's highest level. And with the Bruins' massive injury woes heading into 2022-23, he might just get a big enough role to truly prove his mettle in a depleted lineup. 

Going the other way is Haula, a much older player at 31 years old but one with a longer history of higher production. 

Haula flirted with the 30-goal mark a few years ago and just racked up an impressive 18 goals and 44 points in 78 games last season for the Bruins. With one more year remaining at $2.375 million, Haula is a fantastic depth add to a Devils team that needs secondary scoring, and should give them some veteran presence as their roster skews younger around Jack Hughes and Nico Heischier. 

The Bruins are betting that Zacha's ceiling is higher than Haula and gives them more value in the long run. The Devils, on the other hand, are taking the established piece to be a complimentary scorer around their stars. 

Both are good bets. We'll see how they pay off. 

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