Sebastian Cossa’s rookie season has hardly proven to be smooth sailing. Then again, it rarely is for first-year pros, especially netminders.
“Sebastian, it’s been a challenge for him and he’s trending in the right direction,” Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said of the netminder he selected 15th overall in the 2021 NHL entry draft.
— FloHockey (@FloHockey) February 25, 2023
It certainly would appear that the waters are beginning to calm for Cossa. He’s been a brick wall between the pipes for the ECHL Toledo Walleye over the past month.
In his past six starts, Cossa is 6-0. He’s showing a 1.00 goals-against average and .965 save percentage with two shutouts over that span. The shutouts came in back-to-back starts.
Yzerman Felt ECHL Was Best Starting Pont for Cossa
“He’s playing the (ECHL) and our decision was really in debating with him where’s he gonna play, number one the most important thing was we want him playing a lot and we want him playing in a league where he’s being challenged, where it’s not too hard and not too easy,” Yzerman said.
Cossa played in the ECHL All-Star Classic and backstopped the Destroyers to a 2-0 victory over the Western Conference in the championship game. In league play he’s posted three shutouts since the calendar turned to 2023.
Cossa is second among ECHL goalies with three shutouts, fourth in minutes played (1959) and ninth in GAA (2.57). Over 34 games, he’s 19-13-2.
Sebastian Cossa. Toledo Walleye goalie and the Detroit Red Wings 2021 1st round draft pick, doing a "towel" reverse lunge into a single leg box squat. Focusing on explosive power. Staying on the same "drive" leg to allow for a little muscle conditioning/work capacity. #GOFISH! pic.twitter.com/noC9ZcrVwx
— EAO Sports (@djonestraining) March 1, 2023
“The one good thing I really like is he’s got a work ethic,” Yzerman said. “He’s there in the (ECHL), he understands why he’s there and he’s working to get better.
“He’s getting a lot of starts on a very good team in Toledo, a very good organization,. We’re really happy with our affiliation with them and how they run their program there.
“He’s trending in the right direction and as long as he continues to improve, we’re gonna be very patient with him. With John Lethemon his goaltending partner, they’re both playing well.”
Lethemon Earns Red Wings Contract
Lethemon was recently earning a call up to the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins when Alex Nedeljkovic was summoned to Detroit. Playing on an AHL contract at the time, the Red Wings were making the decision to ink Lethemon to an NHL pact. He was just earning the honor as ECHL goalie of the month for February.
During the month, Lethemon went 6-0-0 in six appearances with three shutouts, an 0.67 goals-against average and a save percentage of .976. He allowed two goals or less in five of his six appearances while making at least 25 saves three times. Lethemon concluded the month by posting back-to-back shutouts.
He’s 16-1-3 in 24 appearances with and leads the ECHL with four shutouts while ranking second with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. Lethemon has won his last 12 decisions. That’s tied for the longest winning streak by a goaltender in the league this season, and for the fourth-longest in ECHL history.