Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way.
Even if a player has all the skill in the world, they still need the right opportunity to succeed at a level that is rosterable in fantasy. This week, we'll take a closer look at how two of the Minnesota Wild's mega-prospects—Marco Rossi and Calen Addison—might fit into their lineup next year. We'll look at their career trajectories, account for expiring contracts, and consider potential line combinations for the 2022-23 season in order to project what we can expect from these prospects moving forward.
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As we approach the final weeks of the regular season, the Minnesota Wild find themselves in a scrum with several teams for second place in the Western Conference behind the high-flying Avalanche. Matt Boldy (23 points in 25 games) has been dynamite since being called up in January but another of the Wild’s young stars, Rossi, who was called up at the same time, was sent down after two games and hasn't returned to the big club since. He's recently fallen just shy of a point-per-game pace with the Iowa Wild (42 points in 44 games) in the AHL but not only is that still incredible production for a rookie, this is a rookie whose life was in serious jeopardy not even a year ago from Covid complications.
Maybe Rossi has a croissant and a snifter with Minnesota down the stretch or is brought up as a hidden-knife-in-the-boot in the playoffs (we need more expressions than "cup of coffee" and "black ace"), but assuming he cracks the lineup full time out of training camp in 2022-23, where might he fit into the Wild's lineup next year?
Many projections ahead of this current season had Rossi confidently pencilled in as the Wild's number one centre. After all, who else was there? It's not like journeyman Frederick Gaudreau and right winger Ryan Hartman could pull their weight down the middle (spoiler: they did). But in the end Rossi spent the season getting his feet back under him in the AHL, which was probably very wise of management.
Looking ahead to next year, the Wild have Kevin Fiala as a restricted free agent and