Dom Lunardo | May 23rd, 2020
To date, only eight players of Austrian descent have played in the National Hockey League. Superstar centerman, Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s will be the ninth. Born and raised in Feldkirch, Austria, Rossi is as raw a talent as they come and poised for greatness. A shoo-in top-10 pick, there’s lots to love about his approach to games and how he conducts himself. Let’s take a closer look at Marco Rossi, one of the most interesting talents at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
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Team: Ottawa 67’s, Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
2020 Draft Prospect Ranking (Central Scouting): 6th Amongst North American Skaters
Rossi and the 67’s
After dominating play in his native Austria, it didn’t take long for several major Canadian Hockey League (CHL) scouts to come calling. Lo and behold it was the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) who won his services. Sporting the red, black, and white of the 67’s, Rossi hit the ground running and adapted well to the North American game. His first season in “The O” saw Rossi tally 65 points in 53 regular-season games. He also notched 22 points in 17 playoff games. Rossi developed a habit of turning heads all season long with his elite-level performances night after night. The start of the 2019/20 campaign, however, saw Rossi bring his overall game to a whole new, and unprecedented level.
Before the season paused season due to COVID-19, Rossi was playing some of the best hockey of his life. His speed, smarts, and ability to finish helped Rossi become one of the most dominant players in Canadian junior hockey. From a statistical standpoint, Rossi’s numbers are utterly mind-blowing. In just 56 games played, he scored 39 goals, 81 assists, and 120 points with a (+69) rating. Talk about a (shortened) season for the ages! Many “in the know” across the OHL referred to Rossi as “the best player, playing on the best team.” Rossi will go down in history as one of the finest players to ever suit up for the Ottawa 67’s.
The Ottawa Connection
As it stands, the Ottawa Senators are slated to have two top-10 draft choices at the 2020 NHL Draft. There’s also a strong likelihood that those picks can creep into the top-5 if all bodes well. As a member of the 67’s, Marco Rossi has close ties to the city of Ottawa. Over the last two seasons, Rossi proudly called Canada’s capital city, home. His time with the 67’s has been nothing short of spectacular. Endeared by fans from all across Eastern Ontario, Rossi is a tremendous player with an extremely bright future. Is it possible that we see Rossi don a Sens uniform? That image would almost be too good to be true now, wouldn’t it? Sit tight Senators fans, dreams do indeed come true.
What the Scouts See
In short, the scouts see a lot in Marco Rossi. As a player, there aren’t many things he isn’t good at on the ice. A mix of both Brayden Point and Matthew Barzal, Rossi excels at so many different facets of the game. His creativity, speed, and acceleration make him a deep threat in the offensive zone. He also possesses excellent puck skills and an above-average hockey-IQ for a youngster. Rossi also “thinks” the game at an elite level and loves to make plays. He also has an incredible work rate and non-stop inner “engine”.
This is a teenager with a massive skillset and the work rate to go along with it. Talk about the total package! Standing at 5’9, 179 pounds (on a good day), Rossi makes up for his lack of size in unique ways. He creates space for himself and his teammates on the ice and is excellent in transition. Rossi carries the ability to beat defenders and can retrieve loose pucks with the very best in the CHL. What makes Rossi so special is his ability to handle the puck and maneuver at top speeds. Everything Rossi does on the ice is fast, electric, and with intent. So just who will be the lucky team to draft Rossi in a few month’s time? Whoever it is, they are in for a real treat with the Austrian sensation from the Ottawa 67’s.
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