Gopher Hockey alum Erik Haula wrapped up his rookie NHL season on Tuesday as the Minnesota Wild were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
But the forward isn't quite ready to call it a season yet -- Haula will immediately leave for Belarus to skate for his native Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
A native of Pori, Finland, Haula tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) in 13 playoff games for the Wild this season including the team's lone goal in Game Six -- a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago to end Minnesota's season. Haula had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 46 regular-season games for the Wild.
Haula is the lone Gophers alum competing in this year's IIHF World Championship while his addition to Finland's roster now gives Minnesota a representative at each IIHF World Championship since 1995.
This will mark the fourth time Haula has represented Finland in international competition. He collected seven points (4-3--7) in six games for Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championship. He helped Finland claim the bronze medal at the 2009 Under-18 World Championship totaling four points (3-1--4) in six games. Haula also played for Finland at the 2008 Under-18 World Championship and recorded four points (1-3--4).
The top four teams from each eight-team group will advance to a crossover quarterfinal game on May 22. Semifinal games will be played on May 24, and medal games will be played on May 25.