Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Steve Kournianos | 11/29/2019 | Nashville |
Height / Weight: 5’9, 183 lbs
Born: September 23rd, 2001 | Feldkirch, Austria
The Draft Analyst Ranking:
One of the more exciting forward prospects in his class, this Austrian-born scoring machine is one of the OHL’s top point producers and power-play specialists. Rossi is a consistent breakaway threat, but he also contributes in other areas thanks to a high-end motor, strong balance on the puck and an acute grasp of how plays will unfold before him. There is something to be said about a top draft prospect whose resume is primarily based on his league and postseason play, and it could be a good thing that Rossi will never play in any major international events that may otherwise scrutinize one of the more complete skill sets you’ll find in a teenager. A dynamic playmaker with elite finishing skills to boot, Rossi is a critical possession driver for Ottawa, which is one of the OHL’s top teams and expected to challenge for the league title. Rossi through Nov. 29 has accumulated 13 goals and 31 assists for 44 points in only 19 games — good for a 2.32 points-per-game average that ranks second in the entire CHL.
Rossi is a magician with the puck and displays a tremendous amount of patience and elite vision. More times than not, Rossi will delay until the smallest of windows remains open. This applies to both lateral feeds into traffic and from wide shooting angles. Opponents have struggled slowing him down, and he’s already at the point in the season where coaches seem to have stopped line matching against him. Like most super scorers, Rossi dictates the tempo. When he hits the ice, there isn’t a shred of doubt or apprehension that may prevent him from executing set plays or breakouts to the letter. He commands everyone’s attention and the puck always seems to be on his blade.
Rossi is an excellent skater. He has a quick first step and can accelerate into open ice with the intent to shift gears and explode into a gap either forward or laterally. He has strong balance and edges, which come into play when he enters the zone against an aggressive defender who tries to fix him to the outside. Rossi can take a hard shove or two and maintain possession, and an opponent who overcommits runs the risk of getting outpaced and the vacant slot to his rear. Rossi is at his best off the rush, where he uses multi-directional quickness to confuse or intimidate coverage. If you asked OHL goalies who the last guy they want to see heading their way with a numbers advantage, a good chunk probably would nominate Rossi.
Rossi has an arsenal of moves to finish from anywhere in the offensive zone. He boasts a hard accurate slapper, but it’s his snap shot with little backswing that seems to handcuff goalies with regularity. He has soft hands and excellent hand-eye coordination to hammer pucks off the pass, but he’s also able to corral pucks in full flight and quickly transition from skate to stick or backhand to forehand while making a mad dash to the net. Once he’s below the hashmarks, Rossi is an unpredictable as they come, and he’s shown confidence by attempting trick shots with little to no time and space.
Although you shouldn’t classify him as a stopper in the defensive zone, Rossi does kill penalties and has a clear understanding of his role as a center and will support his defensemen below the circles, to include covering a vacated slot. Rossi is very good on faceoffs and is entrusted with late/close situations at all strengths. He hustles on the backcheck and has a quick stick to loot unassuming puck rushers before transitioning the other way. Like most young forwards, Rossi can be guilty of puck gazing and allow opponents to get a step on him towards the net. He also isn’t physical in a classic sense, and Rossi’s upper-body strength isn’t enough to win many board battles. Of course, the quickness of feet and stick are in concert with his sharp processor, and gaining inside positioning against bigger players is more of a result of anticipation rather than brute strength.
Former collects 5️⃣🍎, feeding the latter his first career #OHL hat-trick 🎩🎩🎩 including the OT winner as the @Ottawa67sHockey celebrated Brian Kilrea’s 85th birthday in style 🎉 pic.twitter.com/Xh9aFwKEcr
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) October 20, 2019