Young Austrian ice hockey player Marco Rossi remains hopeful to have his name when the Minnesota Wild set their opening night roster this season.
The No. 9 pick Rossi in the 2020 NHL Draft spent the majority of the last season (his maiden in North America) playing for Iowa in the American Hockey League (AHL). He led Iowa in assists (35) and tied for the top spot in points (53) in 63 games last season.
“I feel ready,” Rossi said, as quoted by NHL.com. “Last season, that was really good for me. I could play a lot of minutes in Iowa. I played in every situation, and I played a lot so I think that was for me the best thing to get better as a player. So I feel ready now.”
“Rossi will be here eventually”
The 20-year-old Rossi must have felt great with a nice bounce back after he missed most of the 2019-20 season because of COVID-19. He was even diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after reporting to Wild training camp in early January and played just one game with Zurich SC of the NL and four games for Austria at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“There’s always a goal to play in the National Hockey League as fast as possible,” said Brad Bombardir, the Wild director of player development. “But it’s never, ever hurt any player to play in the American Hockey League. I think over-ripe is a heck of a lot better than under-ripe.
“He’s got to come to training camp and play his game and perform well. If he does, and he takes a spot, then that’s great. If he doesn’t, then he starts in the American Hockey League, and at some point, he gets back up here. He will be here eventually.”