Sebastian Cossa is the Detroit Red Wings top goaltending prospect. Cossa was drafted in the first round, 15th overall, in 2021. Cossa’s dream season came to an end on Friday night when his team, the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL), were defeated in the final preliminary round game at the Memorial Cup.
Did Cossa deserve to be the first goaltender drafted last year?
Two Goaltenders Drafted in the 1st round in 2021
Sebastian Cossa was the second-ranked goaltender in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Many experts had Jesper Wallstedt (Lulea, SHL) ranked ahead of Cossa. The Detroit Red Wings made a trade to move up and select Cossa with the 15th pick. Five picks later, Wallstedt was selected by the Minnesota Wild. Only time will tell if choosing Cossa instead of Wallstedt was the right thing to do.
Top Red Wings Goaltending Prospect
At the time of the draft, the Red Wings were very thin at the goaltending position. Thomas Greiss was the #1 goaltender and, at 35, only had one year remaining on his contract before he could become a UFA. Detroit also had unproven goaltenders Victor Brattstrom, Kaden Fulcher, and Filip Larsson signed to contracts. With two picks in the first round, Detroit selected defenseman Simon Edvinsson with the 6th pick. At pick #15, Detroit shocked the hockey world and selected Cossa.
Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman is known for his bold draft strategy. In 2019, Yzerman selected defenseman Moritz Seider with the 6th overall selection in the first round. Seider has turned out to be the foundation of the Red Wings defense. He recently won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie and is currently the top-scoring defenseman from the 2019 draft, ahead of Bowen Byram (Colorado), who was drafted 4th overall.
Back to Junior
Immediately after drafting Cossa, the Detroit Red Wings signed him to a three-year entry-level contract. During training camp, Cossa was returned to his junior team in Edmonton with the hope that Cossa would get a chance to play for Canada in the World Junior Championships in his hometown. Cossa was returning to the Oil Kings, a team where Cossa registered a 17-1-1 record the year before.
Cossa was the third goaltender on Team Canada and did not see action in the tournament’s first two games before it was canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Cossa had another very good season in Edmonton. He played 46 regular-season games and earned a 33-9-3 record, with a 2.28 GAA, a .913 SV%, and six shutouts. Cossa helped Edmonton win the WHL Championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup. In 19 playoff games, Cossa had a record of 16-3, a 1.93 GAA, .919 SV%, and six shutouts. During three games at the Memorial Cup, Cossa had a 1-2 record, a 3.25 GAA, and a .908 SV%.
Three-Year Entry-Level Contract
Last August, the Detroit Red Wings signed Sebastian Cossa to a three-year entry-level contract. The contract will begin this fall when Cossa turns professional with the Detroit organization. Cossa will have a cap hit of $894,167 if he plays in the NHL and $80,000 if he plays in the AHL. The contract will expire at the end of the 2024-2025 season.
Where Should Cossa Play in 2022
Sebastian Cossa will turn 20 in November and has nothing to prove if he is returned to junior for an overage season. In three seasons playing in the WHL, Cossa played 98 regular-season games and had a career record of 71-16-7 with 17 shutouts.
Cossa should begin next season as the backup in Grand Rapids (AHL). On Friday, the Red Wings re-signed goaltender Victor Brattstrom to a one-year contract extension. After a slow start to his AHL career, Brattstrom had a stronger second half and should assume the responsibility of being the #1 goaltender and a mentor for Cossa in Grand Rapids.
I believe Sebastian Cossa will start next year as the backup to Victor Brattstrom in Grand Rapids (AHL). Currently, the Red Wings have Alex Nedeljkovic and Juho Olkinuora as the goaltenders to start the year in Detroit.
Both Nedeljkovic and Olkinuora are UFA’s after next season. Depending on his development and the state of the team, Cossa could be an option as one of the goaltenders in Detroit by the start of the 2023-2024 season.
The Handlebar Man – The Production Line Podcast