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Detroit Red Wings’ Goalie Sebastian Cossa Piling Up Wins in the WHL



Six-feet-six Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings is the Detroit Red Wings' No. 1 goaltending prospect

Just because the Detroit Red Wings don’t have a firm timeline for Sebastian Cossa’s development doesn’t mean he can’t have his own schedule for his arrival in the show.

“With Detroit being patient, they are going to give me time (to develop),” Cossa said. “But for my own self, I want to speed up that time. I assume I’m going to be in the AHL next year, then a year or two there, and hopefully earn my spot.”

That’s Cossa. Focused. Driven. Ambitious. Mature.

The Red Wings saw all of those traits in him last summer when they traded up (with the Dallas Stars) to draft Cossa with the No. 15 pick in the first round. GM Steve Yzerman took the 6-foot-6 Cossa ahead of Swedish sensation Jesper Wallstedt, who was projected to be the first goalie taken. The Red Wings weren’t the only team to have Cossa rated ahead of Wallstedt, maybe for attitude as much as skill. Cossa has a presence about him that makes you believe in him.

“He is athletic,” said his Edmonton Oil Kings coach Brad Lauer. “He is tracking the puck very well and he gets across post-to-post very well. It takes a good shot to beat him.”

Sebastian Cossa Owns Gaudy Numbers

In three seasons with the Oil Kings, Cossa, 19, is 49-10-7. In the past two seasons, he is 28-4-4. Last season, his goals-against average was 1.69 in 17 games. This season, his GAA is 2.14. His three seasonal save percentages in the Western Hockey League are .921 .941 and .929.

“He is a very confident individual,” Lauer said. “He has some swagger to his game. It’s not like he is arrogant about it. (Cossa) is a team-first guy. He is one of our leaders in our room. He has a great attitude.”

Lauer has overflowing credibility when it comes to assessing a player’s inner-drive. He had a pro career that lasted 19 years, including parts of nine seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins. He worked for every game he played in the NHL. Lauer has been an assistant coach in the American League and with the Anaheim Ducks.

Laurer sees Cossa as a very technical goalie, efficient in his movements. “He conserves his energy,” Lauer said.

He doesn’t conserve his words. Cossa is a talker, and is skilled in the fine art of chirping, although he doesn’t do it as much in games as he did when he was younger.

“In practice, I’m still on the guys,” he said. “But that’s just for fun, just to keep the compete (level) up. But I might have dialed it back a little bit. I’ve always been a little bit chirpy and a little bit chippy. But at the end of the day my job is stop the puck. So I can’t let anyone get me off my game.”

Cossa Detroit’s Goalie of Future

Lauer likes that Cossa works at his game, refines all aspects of his game. (Lauer) says, for example, Cossa works regularly on his puck-handling and he “improves daily.”

“He fights for the ice he wants, but he is not as physically involved as he was when he was younger,” Lauer said. “He is more in control, more focused on his game.”

The Red Wings didn’t overburden Cossa with expansive instructions on what to work on. He and they felt like objectives were enough to fuel improvement. The Red Wings are just happy with how their goaltending outlook has changed dramatically.

Based on social media posts, it’s fair to say Detroit fans are excited about the Red Wings’ goaltending future.

Last season, Detroit didn’t have much goaltending depth. Now, the Red Wings have Alex Nedeljkovic, 25, sharing the net with Thomas Greiss. Meanwhile, Cossa is their goalie of the future. They also like 2020 draft pick Jan Bednar

“My goals are to win as many games as I can this season,” Cossa said, “and try to take this team to the Memorial Cup championship. The more hockey I play, the more development I will get.”

He will get no argument from the Red Wings.