Minnesota Wild top prospect Marco Rossi will not play this season and will return home to Austria, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic.
Rossi was diagnosed with COVID-19 in November, which held him out of training camp. Due to federal laws regarding the disclosure of medical information, Rossi’s diagnosis wasn’t made publicly available. Rossi was listed with an upper-body injury that would keep him out indefinitely on Jan. 10.
“Like many, I was originally shocked and very disappointed, yet at this time I am very optimistic that my health is and will be good to return to train/play. One thing I know is that I come back stronger than ever!!🙏🏻”.
— Marco Rossi (@marcorossi2383) February 1, 2021
The 19-year-old will reportedly return to Minnesota in six weeks to be re-evaluated, Russo reports.
Despite the diagnosis, Rossi was made available for the world juniors, where he served as Austria’s captain, but he was held without a point in four games.
Rossi was selected ninth overall by the Wild in the 2020 NHL Draft after a prolific season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, recording 39 goals and 120 points in 56 games, leading the OHL and CHL in scoring. In doing so, Rossi became the first European player to lead the CHL in scoring.
"It's kind of a delicate balancing act with a young player like that," Wild general manager Bill Guerin said Dec. 21 via NHL.com. "You want him to make the team, you want him to have success right away, and sometimes you kind of let temptation get the better of you and you put him on the team, and it's not always the best thing. So we want to make sure we do the right thing for him at the right time.
"We'll just see how he does day by day and make our decision as we go on."
Although he just turned 19 in September, Rossi is projected to immediately crack the Wild’s lineup upon returning to full health, and could inject the rebuilding club with some much-needed scoring and playmaking.
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