Minnesota Wild: Can Kyle Rau Pass Through Waivers?

ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 20: Minnesota Wild Left Wing Kyle Rau (37) follows the play during a NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning on January 20, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The Wild defeated the Lightning 5-2.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 20: Minnesota Wild Left Wing Kyle Rau (37) follows the play during a NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning on January 20, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The Wild defeated the Lightning 5-2.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Wild are going to have some tough waiver decisions ahead, much like any NHL team. Kyle Rau is one of the guys that they’ll be hoping gets through unclaimed.

With so much talent up top on the Minnesota Wild locked in for decent term, there’s limited room for guys like Kyle Rau to breakthrough.

At 25 years old, he’s running out of chances to truly crack the NHL line-up, having seen only a handful of games in the last few campaigns, spent most recently with the Minnesota Wild and prior with the Florida Panthers.

He has spent the majority of his pre-season ice-time on a line with Justin Kloos, who seems to have an inside track on a roster position, should there be one left.

Most recently he managed to pick up a power play goal in the Dallas Stars’ building, but beyond that he’s not exactly breaking any records or making himself stand-out in any obvious way.

Kyle Rau is one of those perplexing players that can put up 50 points over 69 games with the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League but just can’t seem to step his game up to the NHL level.

A career minor-leaguer or a major-leaguer that simply hasn’t been given enough ice-time to truly shine?

His totals in the NCAA as captain of the University of Minnesota certainly suggested that he was a top-tier player but maybe spending so many years in the NCAA system diminished his chances of being an NHL guy.

Maybe that time in the college system will be his peak in Minnesota colours. I’d rather it be in Minnesota Wild green, but beggars can’t be choosers.

A big career was expected when he was named Minnesota Mr. Hockey in high school, but it seems to me that he just hasn’t quite managed to elevate his game.

He could be a nice reclamation project for a rebuilding team; I’m thinking the Ottawa Senators maybe, but otherwise I’d be reasonably hopeful that he can slip through, like so many others, unnoticed on waivers.

If he can do that and head back to Iowa, he can reset and refocus ahead of another campaign pushing to be noticed by the big club.

Statistics courtesy of Dobber Sports and Elite Prospects.

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