Viewing Sebastian Cossa as the goalie of the future for the Detroit Red Wings is sensible. And Cossa’s immediate future is slowly becoming more clear.
Saturday, the club assigned the netminder taken 15th overall in the 2021 NHL entry draft to their American League farm club, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Detroit #RedWings today assigned goaltender Sebastian Cossa to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 8, 2022
Detroit has now shipped Cossa and goalie John Lethemon to Grand Rapids. However, both Victor Brattstrom and Jussi Olkinuora figure to be joining them in GR after the Red Wings complete their NHL preseason slate Saturday at Toronto against the Maple Leafs.
“I don’t have him necessarily ticketed anywhere right now,” Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman admitted about plans for Cossa this season. “Our options are the Detroit Red Wings, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in Toledo, or we could send him back to play junior as an overage for year.
“Ultimately, I want him playing regularly and I want him playing at a level that he is challenged but can be successful. I think that is most important at this stage of the game.”
Could that be with the Griffins? After a struggling start to the 2021-22 season, Brattstrom found his game and played well for Grand Rapids inthe second half of last season, his first in North America. The No. 1 job in Grand Rapids would appear to be his to lose.
Logically, penciling in Olkinuora, an Olympic and world champion with Finland last year, as the backup in GR is likely. He hasn’t been overly impressive in his NHL preseason stints, but could also be going through similar growing pains as Brattstrom as he adjusts to the North American game. The Red Wings were signing Brattstrom to a one-year contract extension in the summer, so he’s also part of the plan going forward.
Toledo A Landing Spot For Cossa?
At this stage, starting the season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye seems most likely for Cossa. He’s got nothing left to gain by going back to junior. Last season, he won the WHL title with the Edmonton Oil Kings, posting five shutouts in 16 playoff games. He played in the Memorial Cup and was helping Canada win World Junor gold.
“You can definitely tell he’s been working at it and he looks a lot better than last year,” Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic said of Cossa. “It’s a great sign for a young kid to come in and have some confidence to show what he’s got.”
Going to the ECHL is a starting point for several NHL goalies. Launching their pro careers inthe ECHL were two active Stanley Cup-winning netminders, Darcy Kuemper and Jordan Binnington. Ville Husso of the Red Wings was an ECHL player. So were Jack Campbell (Edmonton Oilers), Mackenzie Blackwood (New Jersey Devils) and Phillip Grubauer (Seattle Kraken).
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is liking what he’s seeing from the man pegged as Detroit’s goalie of the future.
“He seems to have a good confidence about himself,” Lalonde said of Cossa. “I think you can see for the most part a positive from the rookie camp to the Red/White game and to the NHL action he’s seen so far.”