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Wild's Rossi trying to be patient during 'frustrating' offensive drought

David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Scoring hasn't come easy for Minnesota Wild rookie Marco Rossi this season: The center has mustered just one assist and 11 shots on goal in 16 games while averaging 12:26 minutes of ice time per contest.

Rossi isn't used to this lack of production, having registered 18 goals and 53 points in 63 games with the AHL's Iowa Wild last season and erupting for 39 tallies and 120 points in 56 games in the OHL in 2019-20.

"It's frustrating because I never had that before," Rossi told The Athletic's Joe Smith on Tuesday. "The process is the important thing. Maybe now I don't really understand it, but maybe in 10 years, I will.

"All the other guys are telling me the same thing: 'Be patient. It's going to come. Then you don't have to worry too much about it.'"

The 21-year-old has been a healthy scratch twice this season - including during Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes - but head coach Dean Evason said the team hasn't decided whether to send him down to the AHL on a conditioning stint.

Rossi knows which option he'd prefer.

"I think (the NHL) is better for my development," the Austrian said. "Because then you have the feeling how it is to be here, the surroundings here. It’s a process you have to go through. Down there (in the AHL), you don't learn those things.

"In your career or seasons, you always have ups and downs. In your downs, you probably learn the most. The things I learn here maybe I would never learn again."

If Rossi is demoted, he wouldn't be the first high-profile rookie to receive that treatment this season. The Seattle Kraken sent Shane Wright to the AHL last Sunday after he was scratched for five consecutive contests.

Rossi is aware that there are some lessons to be learned from the press box, though.

"Sometimes, you have too much pressure, so when you sit out, you have a different point of view on the game," he said. "Maybe you can think about that a little bit, 'What should I have done there?' The important thing is my head is free, so I don't have too much pressure on myself."

Rossi - who Minnesota selected ninth overall in 2020 - will have another chance to enter the lineup Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Wild sit in sixth place in the Central Division with a record of 8-8-2.

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