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Hockey Wilderness
  • Top 25 Under 25: Marco Rossi is future of Wild’s core at No. 2


    Welcome to this year’s Top 25 Under 25 series. If you’re unfamiliar, we’re going player-by-player in a ranking of the top 25 Minnesota Wild players that are under the age of 25. It’s fairly simple. Enjoy!

    As we close out our Top 25 Under 25 list, the players’ potential continues to grow. Marco Rossi is one of the players with sky-high potential in the NHL. Everyone remembers how stacked the 2020 NHL Entry Draft was and Rossi was a big piece of that. Many analysts and scouts projected him to go within the top five to seven picks, especially because there were a couple of teams that could have used a future top center. However, that didn’t happen.

    The picks kept coming through, and Rossi kept falling to the surprise of everyone that was even slightly in touch with the draft class. Finally, the Wild picked him up and set up another piece of the future forward core with it.

    The one reason that may have caused him to drop is his stature. At just 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds, some may be skeptical about his ability to handle pressure well at the NHL level. However, he has shown against both AHL and NHL competition that he can do just that. But don’t take my word for it! Why don’t we look at...

    The Stats

    Last season with the Iowa Wild, he scored 53 points in 63 games and was even at a point-per-game pace for plenty of the season. Probably the most impressive stat line is the one he achieved in his draft year, posting 120 points in 59 games with 39 goals for the OHL’s Ottawa 67s, becoming the first European player to ever lead the CHL in scoring. The production is there against lower and higher competition.

    Roll the Tape

    What makes Rossi so unique, though, is how good he is on both ends of the ice. He’s a creative passer with an innate ability to find open lanes for himself and the puck. He’s also not afraid to dig around corners for loose pucks or get to the net.

    In the clip below, he heads straight for the back post, understanding where the rebound is most likely to go, and he gets rewarded with a shorthanded goal.

    Here’s a great video of Rossi’s awareness with and without the puck in 3-on-3 overtime. He finds open space, gets a puck from his teammate, and waits patiently for a lane to open up to give the puck to a wide-open Ryan Hartman, who cashes in and wins the game.

    Here’s a video of him being an annoying puck hound:

    And here’s some more pest-like behavior from the young Austrian:

    The Future

    The future for Rossi is simple: be the number one center for the Wild. He should end up getting a roster spot with the team this season. He has played very well in the AHL and preseason, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t. But now, it’s just a matter of head coach Dean Evason and general manager Bill Guerin unlocking everything he can give to the club. The Wild faithful have watched one of their two young star forward prospects battle through a Covid-19 scare for a year and will now get to see him full-time in an NHL uniform. There’s no better feeling.

    Hockey Wilderness 2022 Top 25 Under 25

    25. Mason Shaw, C/LW
    24. Sam Hentges, C/LW
    23. Simon Johansson, D
    22. Hunter Haight, C
    21. Nikita Nesternenko, C
    20. Marshall Warren, D
    19. Filip Gustavsson, G
    18. Mikey Milne, LW
    17. Mitchell Chaffee, RW
    16. Pavel Novak, RW
    15. Ryan O’Rourke, D
    14. Daemon Hunt, D
    13. Jack Peart, D
    12. Tyson Jost, C
    11. Adam Beckman, LW
    10. Connor Dewar, C, LW
    9. Danila Yurov, RW
    8. Carson Lambos, D
    7. Marat Khusnutdinov, C/LW
    6. Liam Öhgren, LW
    5. Brock Faber, D
    4. Calen Addison, D
    3. Jesper Wallstedt, G
    2. Marco Rossi, C


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