Troubling news on the Wild front as Minnesota announced that the team will be without 2020 first-round pick Marco Rossi indefinitely with an upper-body injury. The 19-year-old just returned from captaining Team Austria in the World Junior Championships.
It’s a tough blow for Rossi. While most first-round picks usually need more seasoning after being drafted, many predicted that Rossi had a legitimate chance to earn a spot in the Wild’s lineup this season. Despite being just 5-foot-9, the centerman has elite skills and is believed to be close to NHL ready. Unfortunately, while the severity of the injury is unknown, this likely doesn’t help Rossi force his way into the lineup.
Rossi dominated the OHL last season with 39 goals and 120 points and has little to prove if the league ever gets going, suggesting that he might still get a chance to earn playing time in Minnesota. He was loaned to ZSC Lions in the NL, but only appeared in one game before play was shut down there.
Many now will suggest that it was a mistake of general manager Bill Guerin to allow Rossi to play for his home country during the World Juniors (since that could very well be where he was injured). Chicago has been faced with a similar situation when it lost Kirby Dach to a fractured wrist and will be without him for at least four months. Unfortunately, Rossi was unable to make much of an impact at the WJC, playing with little elite talent on the Austrian team. He did not score a point in the four games with most of the games being blowouts.