#9 Pick Marco Rossi is an Elite Scoring Center… But Can He Contribute to Wild Immediately?
The Minnesota Wild have needed something to feel good about since August, when they lost three of four to the Vancouver Canucks and fell out of the 2020 playoff bubble in the first round. They got just that on Tuesday night when they selected Marco Rossi with the 9th overall pick in the NHL Draft.
After they lost out of the playoffs and the league rigged the NHL Draft Lottery for New York, the Wild needed this. Rossi is better than a consolation prize and he walks into an organization already budding with promising young talent.
Rossi, a 5’9″, 185 pound center from Austria, looks to fill a hole left by departing captain Mikko Koivu. Center is a position of contention for the Wild and fans alike, so everyone is hoping 2019 OHL leading scorer can help us all breath easier.
The Kid Can Play
The hope is Rossi can replace Koivu when his inevitable call-up to the Wild arises. Rossi’s agent believes his time will come on game 1 of 2021. It’s possible… He’s a naturally gifted center with an ability to win faceoffs and maintain puck possession. Throw in his filthy stick-handling and hockey IQ and you can’t help but believe this is an elite pick by general manager Bill Guerin.
Just look at smooth he is on the ice. His ability to, not only assist on goals but also slot them on his own, is just what the doctor ordered.
Just talked to Marco Rossi's agent, Serge Payer, the former player who actually ended his North American pro career with the #mnwild organization.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 7, 2020
He truly believes Rossi can and will be in Minnesota's lineup next season.
We'll see what Bill Guerin and Judd Brackett has to say
My one big draft take this year is that I don't give a crap how tall Marco Rossi is because if you can do this then you're pretty good at hockey pic.twitter.com/wAB8ReGQwt— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) October 6, 2020
Marco Rossi’s been a rising talent over the last few years. He played well during his time in Switzerland and with the Austrian U18 and U20 teams (13 G/7 A/20 P in three stints). He truly blossomed, however, when he landed in Canada’s OHL, where he went on to play two dominant seasons with the Ottawa 67’s.
During his time up north, Rossi absolutely dominated the competition, eventually leading the league in assists and points during the 2019-20 season.
Are the Wild about to be…Contenders?
Clearly, this kid has the talent to make the Wild great. With the likes of Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, and a slew of other young talent, the Wild are poised to become a dangerous team if everything begins to click.
With Kaprizov, Eriksson Ek and Rossi all playing on the cheap…well affordable at least… Guerin is setting the team up for future success this franchise hopefully hasn’t seen.
Although some have questioned Guerin’s moves, like moving Donato and Dubnyk to the Sharks and sending Eric Staal to the Sabres, his savvy is hard to argue with. At the moment, it appears as though Guerin is playing 4-D chess while all of us fans and some reporters are playing checkers and he agrees with Rossi’s agent. Stanley Cup here we come.
Guerin said he likes Rossi’s confidence and swagger. Believes he does project to be top center. If he can come in and play well, Guerin said he can make the team.— Sarah McLellan (@sarah__mclellan) October 7, 2020
If Guerin can make a few more solid moves and an unfamiliar team can gel quickly, we might have a young and exciting hockey team on our hands… Maybe even a playoff win…?
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan