Marco Rossi started the month as one of hockey’s top draft-eligible prospects.
Now, only a few weeks later, he has an NHL contract after the Wild signed the No.9 overall pick to a three-year, entry-level deal Friday.
Rossi's contract averages an annual value of $1.775 million. His salary and signing bonus are worth $925,000 per season, and he can achieve performance bonuses up to $850,000 each season.
“A dream come true,” Rossi tweeted. “Can’t be more happy to sign my first NHL contract with the [Wild].”
Rossi led the Ontario Hockey League last season in assists (81) and points (120) to become the first European to capture the OHL scoring title. His 39 goals in 56 games ranked second on his Ottawa team, and he was named the OHL’s most outstanding player – just the second European import to be recognized with the award.
On Oct.6, he became just the fifth Austrian-born player drafted in the first round, joining former Wild player Thomas Vanek.
A dream comes true. Can’t be more happy to sign my first NHL contract with the @mnwild. Thank you to my family who sacrificed so much for me and thank you to anyone else who helped me along this way. #mnwild ���� pic.twitter.com/M1IGutahW9— Marco Rossi (@marcorossi2383) October 23, 2020
A smart, playmaking center with a competitive edge, Rossi is expected to compete for a roster spot with the Wild at training camp – a jump he believe he’s ready to make. He’s used the longer offseason caused by the coronavirus pandemic to work on his speed, and the Wild isn’t worried about his stature (5-9 and 183 pounds).
"He’s a determined and dogged worker,” Wild director of amateur scouting Judd Brackett said earlier this month. “I think he’ll do everything he has to do to be the best that he can be.”
The 19-year-old is also familiar with the pro life; his father, Michael Rossi, was a defenseman who played 20 seasons of professional hockey in Austria from 1992 to 2011. Rossi's father was also instrumental in his son's career, driving him to practice in Switzerland, and Rossi credited his family’s support for getting him to this point – where he’s on the brink of getting a chance to skate in the NHL.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Rossi said after the Wild drafted him. “They need a center. I’m a center. I’m 100 percent ready. My impact is going to be my whole game.”