With Joel Eriksson Ek is likely out of the lineup for an extended period, the Minnesota Wild need to consider making a move to fill the hole left in a lineup that isn’t particularly deep at center.
One possible solution to this problem would be to recall highly touted prospect Marco Rossi from the AHL.
The Loss of Eriksson Ek
So far, we don’t know a lot about the extent of Eriksson Ek’s injury. However, we do know that he is likely to be out of the Wild’s lineup for the foreseeable future.
Wild head coach Dean Evason after the 7-4 loss to the Dallas Stars on Monday:
"“It doesn’t look good… obviously we’ll wait and see. It’s frustrating.”"
There is no doubt that Eriksson Ek is an irreplaceable player. The value he provides in making the Wild a difficult team to play against in almost every aspect of the game is something that very few players in the NHL can bring to the table.
Eriksson Ek, along with captain Jared Spurgeon, are likely miss the upcoming Winter Classic. on New Year’s Day at the Target Center. Add to that the loss of Jordan Greenway, who has been on top of his game for a few weeks now.
It is a gut-punch to a team that relies on players like these to lead the way on and off the ice.
The Case for Marco Rossi
Wild fans have been clamoring for Rossi to make his NHL debut since he was drafted, largely due to his NHL-esk body type and skill-set. Although he is listed at just 5 foot, 9 inches, he uses his lower body strength to outmuscle bigger players and his speed and skill to make defenders look silly.
Rossi, 20, was taken ninth overall by the Wild in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He has recorded an impressive 14 points in 14 games for the Iowa Wild of the AHL so far this season.
Players that record statistics of this significance certainly don’t have it happen by accident. Rossi has built this reputation throughout his young career, recording an astounding 120 points in 56 OHL games in 2019-20, which of course lead the OHL and the entire CHL.
We know the callup is coming at some point.
The question is whether the hole that has been left in the Wild’s lineup accelerates his path to the big club? .