Matt Boldy loves playing hockey in Minnesota. The way the community supports the sport at all levels. The thousands of fans who watch the Minnesota Wild in warm-ups. And, if he's being honest, the level of celebrity an NHL player can attain after just 47 games in the show.

"It's crazy. Everyone's a huge fan," the 21-year-old told ESPN. "Can't really go anywhere without getting recognized, which is pretty cool in a lot of ways."

Of course, scoring 39 points in those 47 games can get one noticed. Being the rookie who helped power the Wild to their most successful regular season in franchise history will earn that recognition.

Marco Rossi watched from afar as Boldy, who was his linemate with the AHL Iowa Wild, lived the NHL dream. They're both first-round draft picks and among the best young forward prospects in the league. Boldy was called up to contribute to the Wild while Rossi was getting his reps in the AHL, one year after COVID-19 complications nearly derailed his career.

Was it inspiring? Like, if Boldy could do that in the NHL, could Rossi do that?

"Yeah, of course," Rossi said with a laugh. "But I don't really like to focus too much about that."

Rossi, 20, played two games with the Wild last season and hopes to play many more.

"Every hockey player dreams, like since day one, to play hockey one day in the NHL. That's the best league in the world," Rossi said. "It would mean a lot for me, but I know nobody's gonna give it to me. You have to earn that spot."

Boldy and Rossi are part of the wave of young players who have populated the Minnesota roster in recent seasons. Joel Eriksson Ek is 26. Jordan Greenway is 25. So is Kirill Kaprizov, the franchise's biggest star and the face of that youth movement. One of the catalysts for the Wild's recent success is striking that balance every NHL team seeks to strike: Talented kids meshing with productive veterans such as Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman and the majority of their defense corps.