Marco Rossi (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) of Ottawa in the Ontario Hockey League has been filing a diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old center, who was No. 6 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, led the Canadian Hockey League with 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) in 56 games this season. In his final entry, Rossi talks about his excitement and future after being chosen No. 9 by the Minnesota Wild in the draft on Tuesday.
Hello hockey fans. I'm feeling really good today.
Getting drafted by the Minnesota Wild is something I'll never forget. It was really special because since my childhood, it's been a dream to play in the NHL one day. It was so emotional for everyone because when you get drafted, you're one step closer to the NHL. There were a lot of mixed emotions because my family has sacrificed so much for me ... it's incredible.
I do recall interviewing with the Wild four times during the summer. They were really long interviews, very intense. They talked a lot with my agent, Serge [Payer], too. My agent even told me he had one of the best feelings [after the interviews] with Minnesota. So, I'm very happy.
In the interviews, [Wild general manager Bill Guerin] just wanted to know me as a person, learn my family background, and how I grew up in Austria. After that, it was about hockey, and staying in Canada during the season. They really liked my 200-foot game, and how I compete and my mindset. That's what they liked the most about me.
Before the Draft, I told Serge and my family that it didn't matter where I went ... it's going to come eventually. Whatever team selects me, we know that's the team that has the trust and faith in me, 100 percent. So, it didn't matter if I was taken No. 4 or No. 20. Whoever picked me, I knew that team had the trust in me.
Video: Top plays from Marco Rossi
Draft day was pretty long since we are six hours ahead in Austria. So, the first round of the draft started at 1 a.m. (Austria time). It was a long day but, to be honest, I had so many interviews to do that the time flew by, so it was pretty good. I had Schnitzel for dinner, so I was ready to go.
At the time the Wild selected me, I was with my mom, dad, my two older sisters, my agent and a couple of friends, so it was nice to have their support.
It was pretty crazy to think me and my Ottawa 67's teammate, Jack Quinn, were chosen back-to-back in the Draft. Jack went No. 8 to the Buffalo Sabres and I was really happy for him. We're really good friends and I just want him to have the best for his future. I think Buffalo is a really good fit for him so I'm happy for him. We started texting each other right away, in fact. About five minutes after I was taken by the Wild, we were texting each other ... both of us were so happy.
Now that the draft is over, the Wild asked for another interview (on Oct. 7) that's going to include me, general manager Billy Guerin and my agent. We're just going to talk about my goals and what they think about my future. We'll figure out what happens next at some point, but I know my goal is to make the NHL team. I know it's going to be really hard work, but that's my goal next season.
It's been some year now that I look back. The thing I'll remember most are all the Zoom meetings with the NHL teams and how everyone helped us and just being able to talk it out with my family all summer. It's something we'll never forget our whole life.
Finally, on NHL Draft day, it was so exciting. We're just waiting for our name to get called and then when we heard our name it was very emotional ... we'll never forget that moment.
Thanks for reading this season and I appreciate all the support.