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Draft Prospect Profile: Marco Rossi
By: Logan Orsini
Austrian born Marco Rossi from the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League has been a force since being drafted 18th overall in the 2018 OHL Draft.
Rossi put up 65 points in 53 games as a rookie last season. He was on a tear this year putting up a ridiculous 120 points, including 81 assists, in 56 games before the season came to a halt. He was a front runner for winning the Ted Wilson Trophy for being the Most Outstanding Player in the league.
Much like other top players in this year’s draft, Rossi has a complete offensive toolset. He stands at only 5’9 but plays like a powerhouse. He has a good skating ability with solid speed, but one thing that stands out is how strong he is on his feet. For not being very tall, he has great balance and strength when it comes to skating.
Rossi possesses an elite offensive set of skills. Not only does he have a good shot and a goal-scoring touch, but his vision and passing are also on an elite level as well. He can put the puck on any of his teammates’ sticks from anywhere in the offensive zone. Whenever he has the puck on his stick, he never seems to be in a rush to shoot it or pass it. He has great patience to wait for a play to open up. Along with that, he has great puck protection and stick handling skills, making it hard for defenders to knock him off the puck.
Another big part of his game that may come as a surprise because of his size is his defensive game. Rossi is good in his defensive zone as he is not afraid to get into the dirty areas and never backs down. He uses his short quick stick to help defensively as well. He was used by the 67’s in situations in the game including penalty kills and big defensive moments late in the game.
It may seem his size does not affect him at all, but it is still one of the downsides of his game, he will need to bulk up to play in the NHL. Size always has the potential to steer teams away from a player in the draft. Another downside is in his acceleration. He does not possess a super quick first step, but it is something that could be worked on in the future.
Staff Writer Mike Morreale with NHL.com said: “He’s capable of winning 50-50 battles, is strong on face-offs and generates offense with his high hockey IQ, good hands and playmaking ability.”
The Ducks could address their lackluster offense by taking Rossi. He is a complete offensive threat and it will be interesting to see how he plays out in the NHL because of his size. I think that Bob Murray is going to lean more towards a pure goal scoring player in this year’s draft, but Rossi is still worth taking a look at since he has been a point-producing machine this year.
A player I would compare him to in today’s NHL is Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Quick fact, Rossi could be the first Austrian born player drafted in the first round since Michael Grabner in 2006. Another famous Austrian player is Thomas Vanek as well. Rossi has the potential to be better than both these players.
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May 19th, 2020