The two Minnesota Wild prospects that we have wanted to see play in the NHL for so damn long, are finally here. Marco Rossi and Matt Boldy made their debut at Tuesday’s practice and head coach Dean Evason and his staff have unveiled the lines that they are most likely going with when they play the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
They are beautiful.
All your #mnwild lines grouped together:— Jessi Pierce (@jessi_pierce) January 4, 2022
(Pitlick/Rask also rotating in)
While it might not be the combination of Boldy, Rossi, and Kevin Fiala that most fans were clamoring for, this is certainly a very good alternative. The top line stays in tact (of course), and Rossi will make his NHL debut with the veteran two-way presence of Marcus Foligno on his left and Fiala’s shoot-first mentality on his right. There are three scoring options on the same line and all from different areas of the ice. I wouldn’t be shocked if this line produces a little bit.
For Boldy, he will have a slightly tougher job down the lineup, but his combination of playmaking and his wicked shot should do well enough to help Frederick Gaudreau at center and Brandon Duhaime on the other flank. Duhaime will do all the grinding, Gaudreau can work in-tight, and Boldy can basically work from anywhere in the offensive zone.
Now on to the other regular Wild players. Connor Dewar has been playing more in practice since getting recalled to the taxi squad last week, making him a potential rookie that will also be getting some of the prospect spotlight, if he does play on the fourth line with Nico Sturm and Nick Bjugstad. And as predicted, Victor Rask and Rem Pitlick are the two forwards that will most likely be on the outside looking in with Rossi and Boldy added to the mix. They did work their way on to some lines, but were mostly alternates.
One area that should greatly improve with these two hot prospects added is the Wild’s power play and those units just look absolutely dangerous.
#mnwild PP units— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) January 4, 2022
On the first unit, Rossi will be playing on the point with defenseman Alex Goligoski and the top line in front of them. Previously, Fiala was on that top line, but as he is shifted down to the second (along with Boldy) that gives an actual balance to both units, instead of opting for the first to have the majority of chances and leave barely anything for the second; this should at least give a better chance for the Wild to actually convert a power play opportunity.
All in all, who can complain about what Evason put on the ice Tuesday? He’s giving these players chances with established players and is putting them on the power play right away. Everyone knows what these players can do at the junior and minor-league levels, now it’s just up to them to produce in the NHL and they’re set up for success with these combinations.
Rossi and Boldy will make their NHL debuts Thursday against the Boston Bruins.