Wild prospect Marco Rossi not taking NHL for granted: ‘I have to earn that spot’

Looking back at last season, Rossi did everything he could to prove himself with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

With Kevin Fiala now a member of the Los Angeles Kings, the Minnesota Wild are hoping young talented players such as Marco Rossi will be able to fill the scoring void.
Star Tribune / TNS file photo

ST. PAUL -- Most people are already projecting top prospect Marco Rossi to be in the Minnesota Wild lineup for the Oct. 13 season opener against the New York Rangers. He spent most of last season getting valuable experience in the minors, and with star winger Kevin Fiala no longer with the team, the 20-year-old Rossi seems like a natural fit to fill the void.

Just don’t tell him that.

“I’m thinking day by day right now,” Rossi said at Wild development camp this week. “Just trying to be the best I can be right now and not think too much ahead. I know I have to earn that spot. Nobody gives it to me.”

That’s been the message from Wild general manager Bill Guerin so far this offseason. Whenever he has been asked about Rossi making the team, Guerin has gone out of his way to make sure everyone knows it’s not a guarantee.

“We want those guys to push for jobs,” Guerin said. “If they can come in and push and make the team and help us win, then that’s great.”


Walker posted 10 goals and 16 assists as a freshman, 11 goals and 19 assists as a sophomore, 13 goals and 16 assists as a junior, and finally, 14 goals and 13 assists as a senior at the U of M.
Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the former Mr. Hockey winner known for his speed and scoring prowess became a free agent and is expected to "stay home" signing with the hometown NHL club.
While we remain a long way from the skating billboards often seen in European pro hockey leagues, the NHL has taken another step in the revenue generation department, with jersey patches coming for the 2022-23 season and beyond.
The 19-year-old defenseman from Grand Rapids, Minn., will play for the Americans in the tournament, which begins Tuesday
Lakes Hockey Academy enjoying an improved second season.
The former White Bear Lake High School and University of Minnesota forward is one of the organizers for the 2023 Hockey Day Minnesota event that will take place in White Bear Township. Anderson also talks about his playing career with The Rink Live's Jess Myers and Mick Hatten.
After an outstanding training camp last season, Beckman struggled to get going in the minors.
The 18-year-old Swedish forward was the 19th overall selection in this month's draft.
The 35-year-old goaltender made it clear that he’s excited to be a part of the Senators moving forward.
For around a decade, Cody McLeod was a guy that Minnesota Wild fans loved to hate, as he scored goals and dropped the gloves for the hated Colorado Avalanche. After two years as a player in the Wild's minor league system, McLeod recently retired and has joined the team in a coaching role.

Looking back at last season, Rossi did everything he could to prove himself with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League. He finished with 18 goals and 35 assists in 63 games in the AHL, playing big minutes on a nightly basis.

Eventually, his prowess in the minors earned him a call-up, and Rossi made his NHL debut on Jan. 6 against the Boston Bruins. He played the following game against the Washington Capitals, too, before getting sent back down for good.

Asked if it was difficult to stay patient last season, Rossi responded, “I trust the process.” He added that he felt like his time with the Iowa Wild was the best thing for his development as a player.

That’s music to the ears of the Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir. He’s a firm believer in letting prospects fully develop before throwing them into the fire.

“There’s always a goal to play in the National Hockey League as fast as possible,” Bombardir said. “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.”

What’s the next step for Rossi?

“He’s got to come to training camp and play his game and perform well,” Bombardir said. “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.”

The timeline will be up to Rossi and how he performs. As for the rest of the summer, he plans to go back to his native Austria to continue training before returning for training camp in the fall.


What does he feel like he needs to show at training camp?

“Just be myself,” Rossi said. “That’s it.”


This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILD
What to read next
This marks the first time that the two events will be conducted in the same city since both were held in Vancouver in 2006.
A Quebec native, Huberdeau will donate his brain to Project Enlist Canada, a program created by the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada.
Derek Plante has stepped down as associate head coach of Minnesota Duluth to become an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. He'll work with three coaches who he played with during his 15-year professional career.
A resident of Hermantown and native of Cloquet, Derek Plante was a development coach for the Blackhawks from 2015-2020.