Marco Rossi's audition with the Wild will have to wait.
The team announced Sunday that Rossi is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury, an issue the Wild learned of when Rossi reported to Minnesota after competing in the IIHF World Junior Championship.
After exiting the bubble in Edmonton where he represented Austria, Rossi was going through the NHL's testing protocol to become eligible to get on the ice with the Wild. The 19-year-old center was supposed to be cleared to participate over the weekend but never did join the team.
Drafted ninth overall last year, Rossi was set to make an intriguing bid for a roster spot.
A talented playmaker who put up huge numbers in the Ontario Hockey League before the pandemic halted play last season, Rossi felt confident in his readiness for the NHL and picked up some pro experience before the World Juniors by playing with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland.
Still, the Wild has been able to fill the holes up the middle created by the departures of Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu and Alex Galchenyuk, with offseason acquisitions Nick Bjugstad and Nick Bonino contributing to the new look.
It also wasn't a given that Rossi would stick long-term, especially amid an abbreviated schedule. The Wild can play him in six NHL games this season before burning a season off his three-year entry-level contract, which Rossi signed in October.
The Wild placed forwards Joseph Cramarossa, Gabriel Dumont, Luke Johnson, Gerald Mayhew and Kyle Rau, defensemen Matt Bartkowski, Louie Belpedio, Ian McCoshen and Dakota Mermis and goalie Andrew Hammond on waivers Sunday.
All these players have to pass through waivers to be sent to Iowa in the American Hockey League or assigned to the Wild's taxi squad. The team must get its active roster to the 23-man limit by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
"Until we sit down and really kind of put it up on the board of who we want to keep, there's going to be that balance of — when Iowa gets going — who do we want playing and the balance of competing and practicing against NHL guys," coach Dean Evason said. "Is someone going to develop or are they better developed in a game situation? That's what we have to evaluate as an organization and as a staff."
The Wild wrapped its final scrimmage of training camp Sunday at Xcel Energy Center, with Team White upending Team Green 2-1.
Captain Jared Spurgeon (power play) and defenseman Jonas Brodin scored for Team White, and Bjugstad had the lone tally for Team Green. Cam Talbot (Team White) played the entire game.
"He just looks sound, looks calm," Evason said of Talbot. "Obviously, [he] made some big saves, but the manner in which he's made them the last couple games — and certainly [Sunday] — I know he's ready to go."
Before taking off for Los Angeles on Wednesday, the Wild will have two more practices where the focus will be pace and team structure. During Monday's skate, Evason plans to stress the Wild's setup at 6-on-5 and 3-on-3. And although camp was condensed, the Wild bench boss doesn't feel the team has been shortchanged in its preparations.
"We were able to get a lot of touches, a lot of reps in systematically, plus a lot of time skating and handling the puck," Evason said. " … Obviously, you'd always like to have a little more time, but we're very happy with where we're at."
When the Wild traded Staal to Buffalo, the team lost his Stanley Cup experience. But it gained a player with a similar résumé when it landed Bonino from Nashville.
And it's Bonino's successful track record that the veteran center believes will help him fit in with the Wild.
"When I was younger and I'd get traded, it was a lot of nerves," said Bonino, a two-time champion with Pittsburgh (2016 and 2017). "I think by now, how I've played, what I've accomplished, I think for me it's just show up and do what I've done my whole career. [That's] be responsible, be a threat to score — hopefully score between 15 and 20 goals a year or more — [and] play in all situations."