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Gophers Hockey: Erik Haula named alternate captain for rest of season

The University of Minnesota announced that leading scorer Erik Haula has been named an alternate captain for the rest of the season.

University of Minnesota junior Erik Haula
University of Minnesota junior Erik Haula
Bruce Bennett

Win or lose, Erik Haula has an "A" to join the "M" on the front of his #19 jersey.

The junior forward and Minnesota Wild prospect was named an alternate captain for the rest of the 2012-2013 season before Friday's game by head coach Don Lucia. It's an honor for Haula, who currently leads the Gophers with 14 points.

"It means a lot. I've kind of waited for the opportunity the whole year and I finally got it," Erik told Fox Sports North prior to the game. "I'm so excited and so proud about it"

Although he has been the team's top returning scorer the last two seasons, the Pori, Finland native did have an issue in the off-season where he was cited for disorderly conduct. However, he has done enough through the first two months of the season both on and off the ice where Lucia felt that the junior deserved the honor

Haula joins Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers) and Seth Helgeson (New Jersey Devils) as alternates alongside redshirt junior captain Zach Budish (Nashville Predators).

For more University of Minnesota coverage, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also find WCHA and college hockey coverage at Western College Hockey and SB Nation's NHL Hub.

Follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.