After health battle, Wild’s Marco Rossi focused on making NHL

marco rossi
Wild TV

After having the start of his NHL career delayed, Marco Rossi is eyeing a regular spot in the Wild lineup.

“My goal is to make the NHL,” Rossi said on Wednesday. “I know how good I am. I know I can make it. I would say I have to prove myself. You have to earn that spot. It’s really hard. But first I’m focusing on my rookie camp. We have two games ahead of us. I’m not thinking too far ahead of me. Just thinking about this week, day by day, and to give my best every day.”

It’s been a long road back for Rossi, who missed all of last season after being diagnosed with myocarditis in January. He had tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020 and was able to recover in time to captain Austria at the World Junior Championship. Following the tournament, he attended Wild training camp when the ailment was discovered.

“It was scary,” said Rossi, the No. 9 overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. “You hear the doctors saying, ‘We don’t know if you’re ever going to reach your goal or that you’re ever be like you were before.'”

A step ahead

The good news is Rossi is 100% recovered and doctors have given him the green light to continue playing.

With rookie camp taking place this week, Rossi should be a step ahead having already played meaningful hockey in the last month. The 19-year-old was part of Austria’s three Olympic qualifying games in August where they fell short of clinching a berth to February’s Beijing Games.

Now fully recovered, Marco Rossi gets a second chance to start his NHL career and after what he’s been through over the last 10 months, he’s not taking it for granted.

“When I was injured, my passion was hockey, to play hockey,” Rossi said. “When I play hockey, that’s my passion. I love to play hockey. After such a long time, you realize how much you love the sport so especially right now when I’m out there, I always appreciate more to be out there because I’m just thankful I can play hockey again.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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