The OHL’s most excellent participant is 2020 draft prospect Marco Rossi
The Ottawa 67’s heart led the league in scoring and now he has the Pink Tilson Trophy. Whereas he might not be the largest man on the ice, you would be hard-pressed to discover a child who competes like Rossi.Marco Rossi|Terry Wilson/OHL ImagesThe listing isn’t lengthy, but it surely’s truthful to say Marco Rossi is the very best Austrian ever to play within the CHL. Certain, you may counter with Michael Grabner (WHL Spokane) – however he by no means did what Rossi simply achieved: the 2020 draft prospect cemented his legacy right this moment by incomes the Pink Tilson Trophy because the OHL’s most excellent participant.
Rossi, the Ottawa 67’s heart, led the league in scoring with 120 factors in 56 video games whereas profitable 58.5 % of his attracts. The award is voted on by the media and Rossi earned 62 % of the vote, adopted by fellow 2020 prospect Cole Perfetti of Saginaw (13 %) and Toronto Maple Leafs choose Nick Robertson (12 %) of Peterborough. For the report, I voted for Rossi.
Listed at 5-foot-9, 187 kilos, Rossi has lots of followers amongst NHL expertise hawks.
“He’s bought a ton of ability, has the flexibility to play the sport with tempo and to play quick and execute and make choices,” mentioned one NHL staff scout. “Bodily, he is likely to be the man closest within the OHL to being NHL-ready. He’s a bodily specimen, he’s a workhorse and he can suppose the sport at that velocity.”
Taking part in on a loaded 67’s staff that had designs on an OHL championship, Rossi was well-known as a beast in observe.
“I simply hate to lose,” he mentioned. “I need to win in each scenario I can.”
His late September birthday meant that Rossi missed the 2019 draft by a couple of week, which assured a second season with Ottawa. Now, Rossi is targeted on enjoying within the execs for 2020-21, whether or not it’s within the NHL or elsewhere. However what a couple of return to Ottawa in a Senators jersey?
“It’s powerful to say as a result of I can’t management that,” Rossi mentioned. “On the draft, who is aware of? I can solely management how I practice and the way I get higher day by day.”
Whereas Austria received promotion to the 2021 world juniors this season (with out Rossi, extremely – he stayed again with the 67’s), the nation isn’t essentially recognized for producing lots of high-end gamers. However Rossi’s father performed professional in his dwelling nation and that had a big effect on the child.
“I used to be fortunate, my father performed for 20 years,” Rossi mentioned. “I bear in mind again once I was three years outdated, I noticed my dad on the ice and from then, I by no means needed to go away the rink when he practised.”
Rossi ended up enjoying most of his developmental years in Switzerland (at one level enjoying on the identical squad as Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Tim Berni) earlier than decamping for Ottawa, the place the 67’s have been assembling a juggernaut. Although the import wanted a half-dozen video games or so to regulate to the smaller ice and sooner North American sport, Rossi flourished, whereas getting assist from San Jose Sharks choose Sasha Chmelevski.
“He was so skilled,” Rossi mentioned. “He was such a fantastic chief and I requested him for recommendation on a regular basis.”
That 67’s staff went to the 2019 OHL last earlier than shedding to Nick Suzuki’s Guelph Storm, however Ottawa got here again simply as sturdy this yr. Rossi led the cost, however sadly the season ended up getting cancelled earlier than the 67’s may get playoff retribution.
Now there’s just one query remaining: how excessive will Rossi go within the 2020 draft? The highest-10 is stacked with nice candidates and he’s a part of that quantity. Some NHL groups surprise if he’s large enough to be a middle on the NHL degree, however he’s not small – simply shorter than the everyday pivot. Given how arduous he performs, Rossi isn’t the type of participant you need to guess in opposition to. Simply ask his OHL opponents.
Tags: prospects, main junior, draftConnect: Concerning the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all referred to as his home. He lives in Toronto along with his spouse and youngsters the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.