If Wild alum Alex Rauter has learned one thing from his hockey career, it’s how to pack. He played for three different teams in his final year of junior hockey before moving on to Cornell University. And in his first year of pro hockey, he played for three different teams, and was actually traded three times in one day before landing in his current spot with the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL.
Rauter was able to stay close to his New Jersey home as he polished his early skills at the 16U level. After finishing high school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, he headed west where he played for the Omaha Lancers (USHL). The next year, he began his final season of juniors in Omaha but was dealt to Youngstown after 13 games. He skated in 11 games for the Phantoms and ended up finishing the 2013-14 season in Wenatchee, including all 10 playoff games.
Rauter moved on to Cornell University where he had a solid career, wearing the captain’s “C” as a senior. As his college career closed out, he got the call to join the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL for their stretch run and postseason. Rauter scored in his first game, and added another in their short playoff run.
He began the 2018-19 season with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) and played 44 games there before being sent to the Manchester Monarchs to complete an earlier trade. He raced to join the Monarchs, arriving at 2 A.M. and then playing that evening. Once again, he would celebrate his debut with his new team by scoring a goal. He didn’t get a chance to settle in before the wheels started moving again. The parent club, the Los Angeles Kings made a couple of roster moves that had a ripple effect, and on Trade Deadline Day (March 7, 2019), the Monarchs sent Rauter to the Allen Americans for a veteran defenseman to fill a gap caused by the Kings moves. Before Rauter could even look up directions to the rink in Allen, his phone rang to tell him the Allen club had traded him to the Fort Wayne Komets to satisfy an earlier trade with “future considerations”. He had been clued in, though, that he might not stick in Fort Wayne either before the deadline passed, and that turned out to be correct, as Fort Wayne traded him to Rapid City. In a whirlwind day of activity, Rauter was rostered by four different teams in a span of mere hours.
In his debut with the Rush, Rauter earned an assist and had his first fight. He’s made a great impression with his new team, and with any luck, he’ll get a chance to stay awhile.