Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- Ranking The Goalie Prospects

02/14/2023 at 7:35am EST

from Scott Wheeler of The Athletic,

Under my criteria, to be eligible for inclusion, a goalie must:

  1. Be under 25 years old. This age criteria is more reflective of the typical goalie trajectory, allowing for the continued consideration of goalies who are very much still prospects.
  2. Not currently be established as one of their NHL club’s two go-to options.

5. Sebastian Cossa, G, 20 (Detroit Red Wings)
July 2022 rank: No. 3 (change: -2)

Cossa is a huge (6-foot-6), powerful, athletic goalie, and those last two things don’t always come with the first. He’s a fiery, confident, talkative competitor who doesn’t like to get beat (which contrasts with the stoic demeanor we see in many goalies) and wants to command the net and the room. Bigger goalies often struggle with their movements and their recoveries, but neither is an issue for Cossa. His positioning (he does a really good job holding his outside edges to be patient on shots) and reflexes (he’s got great hands up high) help him block and grab a lot of pucks. But it’s his ability to bounce back into his stance or change directions with passes that separates him. His power through his pushes gives him rare side-to-side ability for a goalie that big.

But there are also some question marks. Some of them are contextual, like how good the Oil Kings were in front of him for three years, and some of the leaks his game has displayed while playing behind teams with less structure in front of him (including in Hockey Canada camps and now this year in the ECHL, a league that’s notoriously hard on goalies). But other questions are about the tools, including some of the trouble he faces closing his five-hole because of his size (this is a major recurring issue, even though he does a really good job kicking pucks aimed for the lower corners) and the way he can occasionally lose himself in his net on scramble plays (those strong pushes to get to tough lateral saves can pull him off his lines). He can get pulled out of his net overcommitting on dekes, too.

His natural gifts give him undeniable upside, though. When he’s set and square to shots (as he almost always is), he’s tough to beat. I’ve seen him look unflappable and make point-blank save after point-blank save when he’s dialed in. I’ve also seen him look rattled as shots sneak through holes they shouldn’t be finding. I still think he’s got starter upside due to his combination of size, dexterity and rare explosiveness in the net, but he’s got work to do, and patience will be imperative.

more goalies ($), Wheeler has Jesper Wallstedt at #1.


Jesper Wallstedt at #1

This has the potential to be one of the worst drafting decisions DRW have made in quite some time, very long way to go, but if Jesper fills the shoes, oh boy.  


I think the worst drafting decision in the past ten years was taking Zadina at #6 in 2018 instead of taking Quinn Hughes. Cossa has time to turn things around. Zadina is never going to come even close to being the impact player Hughes is already.

Just imagine a defensive group next year of Seider, Hughes, Edvinsson, Hronek, Walman and Chiarot. Now that would accelerate the trajectory back to the playoffs.


Easy call on Monday morning with both Hughes and Zadina playing NHL hockey, but this question is answered when Wallstedt and Cossa become what they become, Hughes for that matter as well. 

At the draft table, there were questions about Hughes, he wasn't the 1st Dman taken, and there was no consensus between him and Boqvist.  Still a mistake to take Zadina, doubtful Holland and Company had a complete scouting on him. 

On the flip side though, Wallstedt was the general consensus #1 overall goalie, some saying the best goaltending prospect in years. We not only selected Cossa ahead of him, we traded up to select Cossa.  If Wallstedt becomes an elite franchise goalie, and Cossa becomes like an average starter that hops around the league, its a failure.  Think Keith Premeau over Jagr whoopsie territory. 

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