Wild Road Tour makes Winona stop on Thursday

June 22, 2016 GMT

Winona area hockey fans will be able to share the ice with some representatives of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday — no pads required.

The Winona Area Youth Hockey Association is hosting the Minnesota Wild Road Tour at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Bud King Arena.

Current Minnesota Wild players Ryan Carter and Nate Prosser will be at the tour stop, along with Wild alumni Keith Ballard and Anthony LaPlanta, Fox Sports and Minnesota Wild TV broadcaster.

A 10-year veteran of the NHL, the Minnesota native Carter played high school hockey in White Bear Lake. He played three seasons for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, then two years for Minnesota State-Mankato. Carter broke into the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, and has also played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils before coming to Minnesota in 2014. Carter scored seven goals and recorded five assists in 60 games last season for Minnesota.

Another Minnesota product, Prosser, played for Elk River High School. Prosser was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Wild in 2010, and after bouncing between the Wild and the AHL’s Houston Aeros, he has been a mainstay for the Wild’s defense since 2012. Prosser tallied an assist in the Wild’s six-game playoff series against Dallas.

Ballard was a standout player for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and was a part of back-to-back national championship teams in 2002-03. He played 11 years in the NHL, the final two with the Wild, before a severe concussion ended his career.

The players will be available for autographs and pictures.

The event also serves as a chance for the public to see the progress made on the Bud King Ice Arena, such as improvements to the indoor ice surface and the new outdoor rink currently under construction. The city of Winona is replacing the refrigeration system and the Winona Area Youth Hockey Association has been fundraising to pay for additional improvements and the new outdoor rink. The total project cost is estimated at $3.2 million.

The Winona Area Youth Hockey Association will also be offering a hot dog, chips and drink for $3 as a fundraiser to raise money for a new outdoor scoreboard.