Wild notes: Prosser waits for his chance

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 11, 2013 - 12:10 AM

You’ve got to feel for Nate Prosser.

Every day, reporters show up to practice and look down at the ice to find out which defenseman is paired with Prosser. That indicates who will be scratched the next game. That’s how the media figured out Marco Scandella would sit Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Wild is carrying eight healthy defensemen, two more than typically dress for a game. For the second season in a row, Prosser is the eighth. He’s the only one who hasn’t played any of the four games this season.

“He’s just got to hang in there,” coach Mike Yeo said.

Every day Prosser shows up at the rink ready to work and puts on a smile to mask what’s got to be frustration.

“I’m just trying to stay as positive as I can and be ready when my number’s called,” Prosser said. “Mentally, it can be pretty tough at times. But that’s the name of the game. It’s the position I’m in, just waiting around for an injury or bad play. And hopefully none of that happens.”

What’s ironic is the Wild’s usually successful when he plays. The Wild was 11-6 with Prosser in the lineup last season. He was on the ice for two goals against all season — the first coming in his 10th game, the second coming on a Detroit garbage power-play goal with 14 seconds left in a 4-2 Wild victory. He skates well, has a good shot, makes a good first pass, and gets in opposing forwards faces when they stray too close to his goaltender.

The problem for Prosser is where he sits on the depth chart. Yeo doesn’t feel the right-shot Prosser can play the left side, and standing ahead of him on the right are Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, veteran Keith Ballard and, when he plays the left, rookie Matt Dumba, a 2012 first-round pick the Wild is trying to get a good look at.

Whether it’s fair or not, often budding prospects like Dumba are afforded more of a chance than a 27-year-old college free-agent signee like Prosser.

Prosser, an Elk River native who played at Colorado College, can become a free agent next summer. If his NHL career is to continue, he may need the Wild to give him a chance in the minors or elsewhere. He says he hasn’t had that conversation with General Manager Chuck Fletcher.

“I’m just taking it day by day and see what situation I’m in the next day,” Prosser said. “We have a great group of guys here and they make it easier on me. I’m trying not to focus on things that are out of my control. But in the back of my mind, I know I’m unrestricted this next summer and I kind of need to play to get another deal.

“It’s kind of a tough spot, but I’m just trying to be positive.”

Kuemper recalled

Darcy Kuemper was recalled to back up Josh Harding against the Jets, but the Wild has hope that goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) won’t be off the ice long and could potentially return to the cage on the upcoming four-game road trip.

If not, Kuemper, spotless during the Wild’s preseason, may be in line for his fourth NHL start Monday in Buffalo or Tuesday in Toronto. He is 1-2 in six regular-season games with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage for the Wild. He also played in two playoff games last season.


• Stephane Veilleux made his season debut for the Wild.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question