The time has finally come and all it took was getting embarrassed on national television in front of a crowd of 40,000 people.
With the loss of the Winter Classic behind them and only looking forward, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin took the opportunity to bring in the two top prospects for his team: Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi. It was rumored yesterday, but now it’s official.
It might just be a perfect storm of factors as to why they would call upon their future core right now. The team is in the middle of a five-game losing streak, while also rarely playing any actual hockey games due to multiple postponements caused by either outbreaks or attendance restrictions of their opponents, and the two forwards are playing excellent hockey just one step away from the big league in Iowa. Why not have players that have regularly been playing games in your lineup?
According to some reports, Boldy was already set for an early-season recall before he suffered his second injury of his young season, making his call-up now just completely normal. Especially since he has been able to show that he’s too good for the AHL on most nights; scoring 10 goals and 28 points in 24 games split between two seasons.
With Boldy making his approach, the time just seems to be right for Rossi as well. The 20-year-old center has had a hell of a year to battle back from. It has been almost exactly a year to the day when Rossi was told that he can’t play hockey for several months, due to a myocarditis diagnosis caused by his previously mismanaged COVID case. Now, after a summer of training back home in Austria, he has shown that he is certainly ready for the increased responsibility of being an NHL player, being able to lead the AHL Wild in scoring with seven goals and 23 points in 21 games.
Both of them have certainly earned it and should be in contention for a full-time spot in this offensively-drained lineup. We will have to see when Jordan Greenway returns from COVID protocol and Joel Eriksson Ek recovers from his injury — needless to say that these next couple of weeks for these two young players is very important.
Minnesota heads out east to face the Boston Bruins on Thursday.