Wild’s Rossi finds success — and name on scoresheet — on a new line

Wild coach John Hynes isn't big into labeling his forward lines, preferring to let each trio's play do the talking. Of course, the line of Joel Eriksson Ek centering Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy has been shouting lately, producing eight goals and 11 assists over the past two games.

Moving rookie center Marco Rossi to a line that includes Vinni Lettieri and Jacob Lucchini gives the Wild a line that's speaking up, too. Rossi has four goals in his past five games, breaking out of a slump in which he had only one goal in 11 games.

"They've scored two goals in two games as a line," Hynes said. "The line has an identity. Marco is a fast, speed player. Lucchini has been really impressive to me. He's playing fast, he's tenacious, he's on pucks. Vinny is doing the same thing. So when you put the three of those guys together, you could arguably say they've been our second-most productive line."

Rossi, the Wild's first-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft, has emerged as a productive player in his first full season. He has 17 goals, tied with 2023 No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard of Chicago for the most by a rookie. The 22-year-old Austrian is considered to be a dark-horse candidate for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year, behind Bedard and teammate Brock Faber.

"He's finding ways to use his speed," Hynes said. "When you look at the goals that he's scored as of late, he can shoot the puck in the net. But he's scored some nice tip goals, some rebound goals. He's getting himself into the scoring area regularly."

Rossi and his linemates are taking Hynes' advice.

"For us, the most important thing is that we play with speed and win battles," Rossi said. "If we do both of those, we are going to be successful."

Bogosian not on trip

Defenseman Zach Bogosian will miss the Wild's games at Edmonton on Friday and Seattle on Saturday because of an upper-body injury suffered Tuesday at Winnipeg. Newcomer Declan Chisholm will be paired with veteran Jonas Brodin.

Chisholm has one goal and one assist in three games with the Wild after being claimed off waivers from the Jets. He settled in after a rough start at Winnipeg.

"I liked the way he responded," Hynes said. "He got better as the game went on."

Remembering the 'Miracle'

Thursday was the 44th anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice" in which Team USA beat the heavily favored Soviet Union 4-3 on the way to winning the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. No Wild players were alive at the time, but the American players especially have heard about the legend, mainly through the 2004 film "Miracle."

"When I was a kid, the movie was my favorite movie forever," said Faber, a Maple Grove native who skated for Team USA in the 2022 Winter Olympics. "Obviously, it was an extremely important moment for USA Hockey."

Defenseman Jon Merrill, who was born in Oklahoma City but grew up in Michigan, recalled his father explaining the significance.

"I remember my dad telling me that it was the coolest sporting event, the most touching thing he's ever seen on TV," said Merrill, who also recalled that his youth hockey team went to a theatre to watch "Miracle" before its state championship game. "Great memories of that."

Milestone for Yurov

On Thursday, Danila Yurov, the Wild's first-round draft pick in 2022, broke Vladimir Tarasenko's KHL record for most points in a season by a player younger than 21. Playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Yurov collected an assist in a 3-0 win over Amur for his 48th point of the season. Yurov has 21 goals and 27 assists in 60 games. Metallurg has two games left in its season.