The Minnesota Wild announced via video on their website that prospects Marco Rossi and Calen Addison have both made the team’s opening night roster. In the video, Wild GM Bill Guerin and Head Coach Dean Evason sit down with each player individually to let them know they’ve made the team, and in Addison’s case, discuss becoming a full-time NHLer. Both players have made their NHL debuts, Addison playing as much as 15 regular season games last season on top of three playoff contests, but now both appear to be on their way to regular NHL roles. Michael Russo of The Athletic also reports that veteran defenseman Andrej Sustr has also made the opening roster.
Russo dove deeper into the team’s decision to keep two of its exciting young players on the roster, speaking with both, who reiterated their excitement at the news. Addison, who was originally a draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, was acquired by the Wild in February of 2020 in the deal that sent forward Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh. After finishing up his junior career in 2019-20 with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, Addison turned pro full-time in 2020-21, playing the majority of the season with the Iowa Wild of the AHL, making his NHL debut for Minnesota as well. Last season, Addison continued his AHL development, but appeared in 18 NHL games between the regular and postseason.
Rossi was Minnesota’s first round, ninth-overall selection in the 2020 draft coming off an impressive two-year stint with the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL, which included an incredible 120 points in just 56 games in 2019-20. However, a case of COVID that included long-term symptoms set Rossi back and raised concern that it could affect his development. The young forward was limited to just a single game in 2020-21 while playing in the Swiss league. Rossi would come over to North America for the 2021-22 season, and fears of his long-term hockey ability being set back were soon gone as the then-20-year-old scored 18 goals to go with 35 assists in 63 AHL contests for Iowa.
Now left in a precarious position with $12.7MM in dead cap in 2022-23 (going up to $14.7MM the following two seasons), Minnesota will need to find as much cost-controlled talent as it can get, especially after trading star forward Kevin Fiala. Though Addison and Rossi are largely unproven at this level, if Minnesota wishes to compete like it has the past few seasons, both will have to step up as regular contributors.