The center ranked third in the league in goals and fourth in scoring for the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston last year. The Wild have been looking for depth at center behind stalwart Mikko Koivu and Rau will get a chance with his hometown team.
The 23-year-old Rau grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie before going on to play at Colorado College. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007 and signed a free agent deal with Houston before last season.
We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.
— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp