Born: January 18, 1987 (age 23)
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
5 ft 11
Signed a 2-year, 2-way deal in May with the Wild…signed a PTO with Houston…Selected by Toronto in the seventh round (228th overall0 in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Chad Rau played, in his rookie professional season, the way most veteran players can only hope to play. Playing in 79 games, Rau was fourth on the Aeros in scoring with 38 points (19+19=38). He didn’t look lost on the ice, and he appeared to handle the adjustment from college hockey to the AHL with aplomb. His 79 games played also led the team, and that was a key to a team that found itself torn apart with injuries and call-ups. He also found a way to fit in with every line on which he skated.
Rau is a familiar name to Wild fans, having starred at Eden Prairie high school before going to college hockey where he was a standout with Colorado College, earning their Rookie of the Year honor in 2005-06 and putting up at least 30 points in each of his four seasons. But more important than standing out at Eden Prairie or Colorado College, Rau stood out with the Aeros in a year when many of the names who were expected to stand out didn’t. And that earned Rau not only the praises of Wild execs, it earned him a NHL contract.
“Chad had a successful rookie season in Houston, making the adjustment from college hockey,” Aeros GM Jim Mill said when Rau signed his two-year contract. "He is a skilled offensive player, but also plays a strong two-way game. He adds valuable depth to our organization.”
Not much was expected from Rau last season. The youth spotlight was instead focused on Colton Gilies and Cody Almond. But Rau was one of the few Aeros to excel last season, and with a year of professional play under his belt, and with a new coach coming in to take command, Rau should excel once again.