Mike Rau, father of Eden Prairie forward and Gophers recruit Kyle Rau, said Kyle will play for the Eagles as a senior this season.
On Sunday, Rau committed to play with Sioux Falls of the U.S. Hockey League and announced his plans to Eden Prairie teammates and coaches. But he never felt comfortable with the decision. So Rau changed his mind Monday. Mike said the Gophers did not put any undue pressure on Kyle to play in the USHL.
“Most college coaches would like to see kids go to the USHL,” Mike Rau said Monday evening. “If you asked Don Lucia he’d say the same thing. And what Don may have told Kyle was playing a year of juniors would help him come in and be better prepared to contribute. But Don always told Kyle he could do what he wanted. The pressure came from Kyle wanting to become the best hockey player he could be. So he decided to commit to Sioux Falls, maybe without thinking about all the consequences that could come with it.”
Rau’s twin brother Curt plays for the Eagles. And Kyle has played with many of his high school teammates since they were 5 years old.
Rau, a 5-9, 165-pound center, tallied 77 points last season and emerged as one of the state's most electrifying players. He helped the Eagles win a Class 2A state title as a sophomore and led them back to the section finals last season.
Rau was not on the ice Monday for the first official day of high school hockey practice but plans to rejoin his teammates, and sign a national letter of intent with the Gophers, later this week.
“I wouldn’t say anything has changed,” Mike Rau said. “Kyle can still play at high school and go into the U next year.”