The Minnesota Wild are reunited with defenseman Nate Prosser as they claimed him off waivers from the St. Louis Blues on Thursday morning.
The defensive struggles have been real for the Minnesota Wild this season. After losing veteran Marco Scandella in a trade to the Buffalo Sabres, the young group of defensemen has struggled to find their way. Specifically, the likes of Matt Dumba, Mike Reilly, and Gustav Olofsson haven’t been as consistent as coach Bruce Boudreau would like. Not to mention, veterans Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon haven’t exactly been on top of their game either, both with negative plus/minus ratings.
As a result, the Wild made a move on Thursday morning to help the defensive core by bringing back Elk River native Nate Prosser for a third stint in Minnesota. While he technically spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Wild, Prosser was claimed by Minnesota three years ago prior to playing any games for the Blues. Falling out of favor once again with St. Louis, he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Wild for the second time in his career.
The news of Prosser’s return follows the waiving of veteran Kyle Quincey who turned out to be a poor free agent addition for the defensive unit. In turn, Prosser should find himself some playing time with the Wild right away, likely as part of the third defensive grouping. Fortunately, the nine-year veteran knows Bruce Boudreau’s system and should provide consistency in the backend.
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Ryan Murphy, who was recently called up from the Iowa Wild, played his first game against the Winnipeg Jets. Yet, the 24-year-old will likely give way to Prosser in the lineup, who’s the more experienced defenseman. Additionally, Minnesota looks like they want to stick with Reilly and Olofsson, even through their growing pains.
In his career, Prosser has seven goals and 31 assists for 38 points, along with a minus-9 rating in 283 career games. That being said, he has a plus-6 rating ever since 2012, when he had a career-worst minus-17 rating. In other words, he’s been rather solid defensively over the last few seasons.
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Overall, the Wild rank eleventh-worst in goals allowed per game and have allowed 13 total goals in the last two games, resulting in one-sided losses. Hopefully, Prosser provides a boost to a team that’s struggled in the early goings of the season.