The Detroit News’s Mark Falkner posted a profile of top 2020 NHL draft prospect Marco Rossi this afternoon:
Ottawa coach Andre Tourigny feels it’s unfair to compare the 19-year-old Rossi to future Hall of Famer Datsyuk, but he said Rossi is “NHL-ready in terms of his approach to the game” and wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the big leap to the pros.
“He’s a super driven kid who is willing to do whatever it takes to become a pro player,” Tourigny said. “He’s the best player in our league, super competitive on and off the ice, really good defensively on both sides of the puck. His goal is to play in the NHL and that’s the way it should be. It all depends which teams takes him in the draft.”
Just as Stutzle could become the highest-drafted German hockey player ahead of Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award winner Leon Draisaitl (No. 3 overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2014), Rossi could surpass Austrian and former Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek (No. 5 overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2003).
Vanek, who has offered advice to Rossi and was a hometown hero for most of the younger 15 Austrians who have played in the NHL, scored 31 goals in his freshman season with the 2003 NCAA champion Minnesota Golden Gophers, 42 goals in his rookie season with the AHL Rochester Americans and 373 career goals in 1,029 NHL games, including 31 goals in two stints in Detroit in 2017 and 2019.
“Even if I get drafted before Vanek, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a better career or something,” Rossi said. “To be honest, I try to control what I can control like my work ethic, how I work on my body, how I work on my game. If you compare me back to March, I’m two completely different persons. I’m faster and I’ve had a big improvement in my speed, stride and explosiveness. I’m just getting ready for the season.”