Noon Number (October 22nd): 73

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Today's (a little bit after) Noon Number is about the Wild's forgotten man, Nate Prosser.

The news today is that Prosser will be coming into the team for tonight's game against the Nashville Predators. Matt Dumba will be taking Prosser's, long-occupied, seat in the press box. The reasoning for this move is that Mike Yeo thinks it will improve the ailing penalty-kill.

Now, I have a reputation for being a little bit down on Prosser in the past. It's not that I don't like the guy, heck, he's known as one of the nicest guys on the team and he seems to always be doing great things off the ice, I just haven't seen anything from him in the last two seasons that suggests he belongs on an NHL team that has aspirations of being a contender in the near future. So far he has looked like a 6-7 guy on a bad team, top-pairing in the AHL on a good team. Tonight he has a great opportunity to try and get himself back into the conversation. He could still turn into a solid bottom-pairing guy, but, at 27, I'm skeptical about how much more he has to show.

From what I have seen of Prosser in the last 2 seasons, he looks like a guy who is an okay skater, can bang bodies and be a bit of a pest, but has little offensive upside or stand-out defensive skill. He got a ton of minutes in 11/12 because of how short on talent that team was, but found opportunities hard to come by in 2013, to the point where he even dressed as a forward for a game (or was it two games?). When Keith Ballard comes back, Prosser will likely be back in the press-box, so what he needs to do is prove that the Wild can safely send Dumba back to juniors and not be short on depth as a result. Then Prosser will get his chances throughout the year to cover injuries. I think if Dumba stays, then, unless Prosser shows a dramatic improvement, he will be on the trading block or on waivers to Iowa.


-Here's some basic info about him:

NATE PROSSER: BASIC INFO

AGE

27

HEIGHT

6 ft 2

WEIGHT

210 lb

SHOOTS

Right

GAMES PLAYED

73

GOALS

1

ASSISTS

12

POINTS

13

PIM

69


-Now I'll examine some of his underlying numbers from the last few seasons, starting with 2011/2012. I have set the criteria to Wild d-men who played at least 50 minutes that year, which left 9 candidates at Even-Strength and 6 for 4v5:

PROSSER: 2011/2012

5v5 (Close) Corsi For%

45.2% (3rd)

5v5 (Close) Fenwick For%

46.4% (3rd)

5v5 Quality Of Compeition

0.946 (5th)

5v5 Offensive Zone Start%

38.6% (8th)

5v5 On-Ice Sh%

6.53% (8th)

5v5 On-Ice Sv%

91.1% (5th)

5v5 PDO

97.6 (8th)

4v5 TOI

477:28 (5th)

4v5 Fenwick Against/20

21.854 (1st)

4v5 Corsi Against/20

29.205 (2nd)

As you can see, Prosser had a pretty decent year on what was an awful, awful excuse for an NHL team. He earned himself a new 1-way contract for being one of the best of a bad bunch. He did well on the PK too.


-I used the same criteria for 2012/2013 (but set no minimum for 4v5 TOI), which left  9 candidates at 5v5, and 9 at 4v5 :

PROSSER: 2012/2013

5v5 (Close) Corsi For%

47.0% (6th)

5v5 (Close) Fenwick For%

46.7% (7th)

5v5 Quality Of Compeition

-1.242 (9th)

5v5 Offensive Zone Start%

41.9% (8th)

5v5 On-Ice Sh%

7.04% (6th)

5v5 On-Ice Sv%

98.7% (1st)

5v5 PDO

105.7 (1st)

4v5 TOI

12:31 (7th)

Prosser only played 12 minutes of PK time all year, which is why I didn't add his Corsi and Fenwick numbers as they are pretty much irrelevant. In other metrics, he was fairly bad, playing reasonably soft minutes. With the way the Wild's defence improved thanks to the addition of Suter and Brodin, Prosser just couldn't find a significant role on the team.

He received (and still receives) praise for the Wild only conceding 1 or 2 goals while he was on the ice all year, which is baffling to me. He was tied for 1st in On-Ice Sv% among defencemen, which tells us that he was lucky more than good.


So, overall, Prosser doesn't inspire me with confidence, but if he can step-up and find a niche on the bottom pairing, while providing some good PK minutes, then that is great for the team and adds even more defensive depth to a solid unit. Today's number is "73", which is the amount of games Prosser has played for the Wild so far in his career. How many more he plays is anybody's guess.


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