The Minnesota Wild are in a bit of a funk as of late. The team has lost five-straight games and most recently laid an egg on national television in the Winter Classic vs. the St. Louis Blues. Injuries have belittled the team, as they are currently out their captain Jared Spurgeon, top-center Joel Eriksson Ek, starting goalie Cam Talbot, middle-six forward Jordan Greenway, and key role player Nick Bjugstad.So what do you do when you are in the middle of a funk and out five NHL regulars? You recall your two top-prospects from the minors, that’s what you do. And that is exactly what Bill Guerin has done.
Both Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi will make their NHL debuts tonight vs. the Boston Bruins. This is something that Wild fans have been anxiously awaiting since they were both drafted in the first-round by the Wild in 2019 (Boldy, 12th overall) and 2020 (Rossi, 9th overall). In 24 career-games with the Iowa Wild, Boldy has piled up 28 points. In 21 games with Iowa this year, Rossi has put up 23 points and is riding a six-game point streak dating back to December 12th. It was no secret to anyone that they were ready to graduate to the NHL.Now, what should we expect from both Boldy and Rossi in their NHL debuts?
Boldy is a player with the rare blend of size, speed, and skill. He loves to rush the puck up the ice and drive the play from the wing. Boldy is the type of player that doesn’t wait for things to happen, he makes them happen. He has a killer instinct and feeds on opposing defenders when he catches them flat-footed. A beast along the boards, Boldy is also someone unafraid to head into the corners to retrieve pucks for his teammates. He really is a jack of all trades player and reminds me so much of Colorado Avalanche star forward Mikko Rantanen.As of now, it looks like Boldy will be making his NHL debut on a line with Freddy Gaudreau and Brandon Duhaime (if he plays). Boldy will also get PP2 time with Marcus Foligno, Kevin Fiala, Matt Dumba, and Gaudreau. Not a bad way to begin your NHL career.
To put it lightly, Rossi is an absolute magician on the ice. He is consistently making plays with the puck that bring fans out of their seats and leaving opposing players in defeat. Rossi is a master of skill and deception but can also outwork any player on any team. Rossi is a bull on the puck and nearly impossible to get off of it once he gains control of it. I don’t say this next sentence lightly. He has the skill-level of Pavel Datsyuk mixed with the work ethic of Sidney Crosby. Rossi plays a complete 200-foot game and is strong in all three zones of the ice.
At this moment in time, it looks like Rossi will be making his NHL debut on a line with Foligno and Fiala. He will also be inserted into the top PP1 unit with Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello, and Alex Goligoski.
It has been a long ride for Boldy and especially Rossi to get to this point in their careers. Nonetheless, the time is has finally arrived. Tonight at 6PM CT on ESPN, I officially welcome and invite you to the Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi show. Get your popcorn ready, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s go!