Marco Rossi was an exception to some recent Minnesota Wild news this weekend.
With the team’s season over, the attention has obviously been focused on offi-ice activities. But Rossi, one of the franchise’s top prospects, garnered attention on Saturday for what he did on it.
Rossi, selected ninth overall in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, was filmed as he took to the ice for a Saturday morning workout. in a Wild practice jersey. The video — filmed by his father, Michael, and posted on his social media account — would not be that big of a deal, normally.
But given what he has been through over the past year, it is notable. It also was his first time on the ice since he captained Austria in the World Junior Championship tournament in January.
It marked a return to normalcy for the 19-year-old Austrian center who tested positive for COVID-19 in November and then was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. The latter came during a pre-training camp physical with the Wild and ended his hockey season. He eventually returned to Austria to recover.
Rossi expressed his feelings as he. posed for a photo on the ice that was posted on his Twitter account to with the simple message of, “So happy to be back on the ice!” that was accompanied with a emoji of a flexing arm..
Michael Russo of The Athletic interviewed Rossi and wrote a story in late April about the the heart condition and the fear it caused the standout prospect
“Every time before I went to sleep, I was so scared that I won’t wake up anymore,” Rossi told Russo. “Every night before sleep, I was really sad and always crying because I was scared of that. I told my parents, ‘Could you sleep right next to my bed and be here ’til I fall asleep?’ And every day I woke up in the morning. I was so glad.”
He had 68 goals and 185 points in two seasons with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League before being selected by the Wild.
In its 2020 predraft guide, eliteprospects.com wrote that Rossi:
“Has an exceptional sense of spacing both on and off the puck, capable of playing in the most sensitive portions of the offensive zone and suffering hardly any physical wear for the trouble. If there’s an opening, then Rossi is going to find it and ruthlessly exploit it. He’s responsible defensively with great off the puck positioning and support below the hashmarks.”
Rossi, received medical clearance to return to the ice in May, and he is expected to be a part of the Wild’s training camp .
“Things are looking really good,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said in a season-ending media session earlier this week. “He seems to be incredibly healthy and very positive.
“”(The medical condition) was a big shock. A big healthy, workout-crazy kid like he is,,” Guerin said. “It’s scary. You’re nervous for the kid and for his family. But honestly, we have such a fantastic medical staff here. They went through everything 10 times with a fine-tooth comb and they just make you feel a lot better about it. OUr medical staff has been absolutely fantastic through the whole process.”