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.
I challenged him to a goalie fight when we chatted before the game, but he didn't want to go. It was strange to see him at the other end of the ice, but I'm sure he felt the same way looking down at our end.
— Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack joking about facing his former teammate Roberto Luongo after the Canucks' win against the Panthers