Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2018

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Playing with Pross by Michael Russo Russo's Rants P R E S E N T E D B Y M H J ON L I N E . C O M | M A R C H 2 0 1 8 26 f you're a youth or teenage hockey player in love with the sport and desperately want to play collegiately or even further but find yourself not excelling or impressing the right coaches, the Wild's Nate Prosser is an example. Besides being one exceptional human being and proud of father of three girls, Prosser is the quintessential late bloomer and proof pos- itive being labeled a young phenom isn't the only way to reach your dream of playing in the National Hockey League. At Elk River High School, he never made the Select 15s, Select 16s or Select 17s. He wasn't recruited by any colleges until he was 18. And he was undrafted by all 30 NHL teams … twice. Yet, this season for the Wild, Prosser, a third- set defenseman who most of his career has acted as an extra, in-and-out-of-the-lineup defenseman, topped 300 games and nine sea- sons in the NHL. "It's been a fun journey," said the 31-year-old, with his trademark smile, said. "I never made any of the kind of teams that guys that would get drafted in the first, second, third rounds. Yet my whole goal growing up was to play in the WCHA, get a college scholarship. I ended up achieving that, and while I was at Colorado College I just kept developing my game, just getting better every year. Getting stronger, get- ting bigger, just being more of a man, I guess." "A little runt" Ask any of Prosser's buddies, childhood team- mates or even his dad, Chris, or brother, Luke, if they ever though Prosser would be the one who wound up making it in hockey; Nobody I Beloved by teammates, Elk River's Nate Prosser brings steady presence and leadership to Wild locker room

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