As the Wild prepared to make their pick on Tuesday, Oct. 6, any tension inside the team’s war room in St. Paul likely faded away as the draft board fell impeccably in their favor.
While most teams have to decide between position of need and best player available, the Wild managed to kill two birds with one stone when they were finally on the clock.
They selected highly coveted prospect Marco Rossi with the No. 9 overall pick, fulfilling general manager Bill Guerin’s yearning for a potential No. 1 center in the pipeline.
Wild director of amateur scouting Judd Brackett, assessed Rossi immediately following the pick, saying, “Marco is a two-way center with incredible vision, skill and compete level,”
Rossi, 19, played 56 games for the Ottawa 67’s for the Ontario Hockey League last season, scoring 39 goals and tallying 81 assists. He was the OHL’s most outstanding player and was ranked as the No. 6 North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
The 5-foot-9, 183-pound Rossi is a highly skilled offensive player, according to NHL Central Scouting, who has game breaking ability and plays at an extremely high pace. It compared him to Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand.