September 23, 2020

Five For Marco Rossi

“Five For…” is a Q&A feature with NHL Draft eligibles that touches on their lives and careers leading into the 2020 NHL Draft. This edition features forward Marco Rossi.

There’s little not to like about the effort put forth by Marco Rossi in 2019-20.

His game was as productive as they come in the Canadian Hockey League, even before factoring in the thought that he remains eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

He was, after all, the Canadian Hockey League’s top scorer with 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) in 56 games and was named the Red Tilson Trophy recipient as the Ontario Hockey League’s most outstanding player of the year.

He led all Eastern Conference skaters with six nominations in the annual OHL Coaches Poll, too.

In fact, his 2.14 points-per-game led the Ontario Hockey League and was the league’s highest since Connor McDvaid (2.55) in 2014-15.

What worked?

“I think from the first season compared to the second season was having more experience playing in Canada,” Ross, from Austria, said. “In the first year, everything was new to me. The ice surface was different like it was smaller and you had less time.

“In my second season I just knew how to play there and it just got much better.”

FCHockey recently caught up with Rossi.

FC: Your decision to not sign with an Austrian professional club and instead focus on his training headed into the draft…what went into that?
MR: Had a lot of discussion with agent and coach about what is best path forward. We had a lot of discussion about that and I think the best way to improve myself is have more practice and focusing on my body and being on the ice and practicing with the team than just playing two games because the Swiss league and national league are going to start first of October so I could only get in like 1 or 2 games before the draft so is it really necessary to get in those before the draft then we said no we are just going to practice with them.

FC: Six weird months lead up to the draft. How do you use this time to your advantage? What have you been up to?
MR: Normally you don’t have that much time to focus on your body. I started working out middle of March. We had so much time and still have a lot of time. Big improvements to my whole body, I got stronger and faster and improved everything.

FC: The nerves are usually led up until June. Have you talked to any guys that have gone through the draft process before and been able to relate the nerves a little bit?
MR: Yeah, some players on our team were drafted before. Of course, we talked a lot about that situation but now it’s completely different because now you’ve got to wait another three months. Just stay patient, everyone has to do it and have fun at the moment.

FC: Does it help your mental state seeing that date of October 9 in the books?
MR: Everyone has had to wait and stay patient.  It’s not easy to do that because you want to play and you want to get drafted.  I have a good team around me who is always supporting me.

FC: How do you see your playmaking ability transitioning to the NHL?
MR: Not really anything is going to change because I’m a playmaker. I always try to find my teammates and make them better. Doesn’t matter if I’m making passes or anything else, I try to help them out. Why am I a good playmaker? It’s because when I was really young my dad always told me try to give passes to the teammates. Most of the other kids were trying to score goals. When I was a kid my goal was to pass to the other guy so since then I understood how to be a good playmaker and carried it on.”

With files from Aly Munro

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