Hockey: Prosser almost makes Wild, starts season back in Houston

by  Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River native Nate Prosser  lasted until the final week of training camp with the Minnesota Wild and was sent back to the Houston Aeros, where he spent his first full pro season last winter.

“I came close, down to the final cut,” said the 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman on Wednesday. “I hope to be their first call-up. Obviously, I have to perform down here.”

Nate Prosser

Prosser, 25, a two-time all-conference player for the Elks, played two years in the USHL and four with Colorado College, and was signed by the Wild in March of 2010 after his college career ended. He suited up for the Wild at the end of that season and got into three games.

Last year, he had a strong season with the Aeros, including eight goals and 19 assists, helping them reach the American Hockey League finals, under Mike Yeo, who was then named the new Wild coach.

“I had a good training camp, and I thought I had a good shot at making the team,” said Prosser. ” I got a lot stronger in the second half of last season, and had some good experience in the playoffs.

“But if they feel I should be back here and work on my game more, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll  get right back after it … I don’t look at this as a setback.”

The Aeros, with a new coaching staff headed by John Torchetti, opened their season Sunday with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Wolves.