Kyle Rau
Image: U. of Minnesota

Kyle Rau


Eden Prairie Minnesota

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3rd round (91st overall), 2011


175 lbs.

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2008-09: Kyle Rau led Eden Prairie HS in scoring as a sophomore with 27 goals and 27 assists in 30 games. Eden Prairie finished 27-3 and defeated Moorhead, 3-0, in the Minnesota AA high school state championship game. NHL defenseman Nick Leddy was a senior on that team. Rau was selected for the USA U-18 team that participated in the Ivan Hlinka tournament and had one assist in three games.

2009-10: Rau scored 42 goals with 43 assists in 28 games (including sectional playoffs) as Eden Prairie won the Lake Conference title. Eden Prairie fell to Minnetonka in the Section 6AA finals to finish with a record of 22-5-1. Rau committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota in 2011-12.

2010-11: Rau ended his high school career in dream fashion, diving to knock a loose puck towards the net for what became the game-winning goal in a triple-overtime, 3-2 Eden Prairie win in the longest state championships game in Minnesota history. Rau’s twin brother Curt, a defenseman, assisted on the goal. For the season, Kyle Rau scored 41 goals with 40 assists in 31 games and was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey. Prior to the high school season, Rau competed in the Upper Midwest Elite League and scored 16 goals with 7 assists in 22 games for Team Southwest. Rau also played for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede; scoring 4 goals with 6 assists and was +4 with 15 PMs in 11 games. In the Stampede’s playoff run to the USHL’s semifinals, he scored 7 goals with 5 assists and was +5 in ten games. Two of his goals and five points came on the Sioux Falls power play. Rau was ranked 177th among North American skaters by Central Scouting and was selected in the 3rd round (91st overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft.

2011-12: Rau was the second-leading scorer for the University of Minnesota as a freshman. He scored 18 goals with 25 assists and was plus-23 with 29 penalty minutes. He scored 9 goals on the Gophers power play as Minnesota finished first in the WCHA during the regular season and reached the NCAA’s Frozen Four. The Gophers lost to North Dakota in the WCHA tournament semifinals but returned the favor a week later, defeating the Fighting Sioux in the NCAA West Regional final.

2012-13: Kyle Rau was the second-leading scorer for Minnesota in his sophomore season. Skating alongside center Nick Bjugstad, another Panthers prospect, on the Gophers’ top line, he scored 15 goals with 25 assists in 40 games and was +12 with 22 penalty minutes. Minnesota tied St. Cloud State for first in the WCHA but suffered back-to-back losses in the WCHA semifinals and NCAA West Regional semifinal to end the year.

2013-14: Rau led the University of Minnesota in scoring in his junior season as the Golden Gophers finished first in the newly-formed Big Ten hockey conference and advanced to the Frozen Four championship game. One of six players to skate in all 41 games for Minnesota, he scored 14 goals with 26 assists and was +16 with 16 penalty minutes. After an upset loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, Minnesota defeated Robert Morris and St. Cloud State to capture the NCAA West Regional and then defeated North Dakota, 2-1, with a game-winning short-handed goal in the game’s final second. Union defeated Minnesota, 7-4, in the championship game. Rau scored goals in three straight post-season games against Ohio State, Robert Morris, and St. Cloud State and had two assists in the win over North Dakota and an assist in the national championship game with Union. 

2014-15: Rau continued his steady stream of offensive production in his senior season at the University of Minnesota, eclipsing the 40-point mark for the fourth straight season, while scoring a career-high 20 goals. He also appeared in seven games for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage on an amateur tryout deal; he scored twice and added one assist. Rau signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Panthers in March 2015.

2015-16: Rau made his NHL debut with the Panthers in a February 20th game against Winnipeg — skating in nine games with Florida before being returned to the AHL’s Portland Pirates. He was -1 with no points and 2 penalty minutes, averaging 12:35 minutes of ice time with the Panthers. Rau scored 17 goals in 52 games for Portland, second to team leader Rob Schremp (21). He had 14 assists and an even plus/minus with 24 penalty minutes. The Pirates finished fourth in the Atlantic Division, falling to Hershey in a first-round playoff series. Rau scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in five playoff games.  

Talent Analysis

Rau is an agile and quick skater with impressive hockey sense. His ability to anticipate plays allows him to consistently find the one place on the ice where the puck will go and where he can have the greatest opportunity to score. His defensive play is underrated, and despite his smaller frame he plays a tough, physical game. He has quick hands around the net, and is a tireless worker.


Rau appeared in nine NHL games with Florida in 2015-16 and had a solid first pro season with the AHL's Portland Pirates. Entering the second year of his original entry-level contract, he will push for a lower line spot with the Panthers in training camp. An undersized but smooth skating forward, he plays hard in all three zones and could have some value as a Tyler Ennis-type center.

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