Over the past couple weeks we have been breaking down options the Blackhawks might consider with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Thus far we have discussed eight forwards: Matthew Coronado, Chaz Lucius, Mason McTavish, Aatu Raty, Brennan Othmann, Cole Sillinger, Zachary Bolduc and Fabian Lysell.
Now, we’re going to take a look at one of the top goaltenders who might be available.
Jesper Wallstedt is considered the top goaltending prospect in this draft class, and will likely be gone before the Blackhawks are on the clock. And, even though the Blackhawks selected Drew Commesso in the second round last year and have every reason to be high on him, there’s another netminder on the board who could tempt the Hawks at No. 11.
6-6 / 210
Ranked #14 by TSN/McKenzie
Ranked #1 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Goalies)
Ranked #19 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #29 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #24 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #23 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #23 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #43 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #36 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #24 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #24 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #32 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
From Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
#10 overall prospect
Hockey Sense: Average
“Cossa has been as good as you could have asked him to be in the WHL, dominating the league for the last two seasons. His athletic toolkit is very intriguing as a 6-foot-6 goalie who can move very well for that size. He covers a lot of net with his length. He has some quick twitch in his frame in how he moves around the net, and gets in and out of his butterfly. Cossa’s reads are typically great. He loses track of some pucks and can be a bit busy in the net but usually anticipates the play very well. I love his selective aggressiveness with his positioning, and how he takes away angles with his size as well as how well he uses his stick to break up a lot of plays. In a sentence, Cossa projects as a quality NHL starting goaltender with the potential to become an upper-echelon goalie.”
From Chris Peters’ Hockey Sense
#13 overall prospect
“It took me all year to get there, but the more I watched Cossa video the more I viewed him as a goalie with legit No. 1 ceiling. I think we have to take his numbers with a slight grain of salt, given his .941 save percentage and 17-1-1 record in 19 appearances came against a limited WHL schedule against in-division opponents. But if you take the numbers out of it even, he still looks like one of the elite prospects in this draft. His size, his speed, his hockey sense all look NHL-caliber. Cossa was wilder in the crease a season ago. This year, he’s quieted things down without losing his explosiveness. His pre-shot reads looked stronger this year. There were so few times he got beaten clean from outside shots. I’m a little scared of the sample size this year, but I also don’t have strong enough feelings about others in this class that I can say they have higher upside than this massive, athletic goalie who looks special relative. While I don’t put him in the Yaroslav Askarov/Spencer Knight category yet, he’s not far off from that. He’s going to go early and I think he’s going to deserve it, too.”
Skating and Talent Analysis
Coming in at 6’6?, Cossa has the type of ideal size that NHL teams are looking for in a modern goalie prospect. He takes advantage of his size and gives shooters little net to look at with his strong positioning. He gets out to the top of the crease and cuts down angles well. He’s not one to get outside of his crease, but given his frame and his ability to stay square to the puck, Cossa doesn’t need to. Cossa has strong legs and good movement. His puck tracking is very good and he gets side-to-side quickly, always being in the right position to challenge the shooter. By playing a slight bit deeper than most goalies he can get side to side quickly and make saves on cross-ice passes. Cossa’s legs are strong and he gets up and down in the butterfly quickly.
Cossa is so tall that when he does go down in the butterfly, his shoulders still reach the crossbar and his frame takes up much of the net. His glove as well as his blocker are solid. This helps him take away the top of the net. Like many young goaltenders, Cossa could work on his rebound control. It is good for his age but more improvements are necessary. He does a good job of sealing the post when the puck is down below the goal line.
Cossa is also a good puck handler. He gets out of his crease quickly and retrieves dump-ins. He can act as a third defenceman for his teams, starting the breakout and moving the puck up the ice. Cossa takes advantage of teams making a slow line change with the ability to throw a long breakaway pass to a teammate.
Playing on the Oil Kings, there are times when Cossa is not seeing a lot of action at his end of the ice. Despite this, he stays focused and is always ready for the next opportunity. Playing on a team where you don’t see a lot of shots can test a goalie’s focus but Cossa has come through this with flying colours. He has also shown the ability to slow the play down and get a faceoff in the times his team is running around their own end. Defenders rely on Cossa to keep his cool under pressure. Even when he gives up a goal, he doesn’t let it get to him. Cossa is ready to make the next save and does not linger on mistakes.
Projection and Comparison
Cossa has everything needed to be a top goaltender at the next level but will need some time. Expect to see him back with the Oil Kings next season. He should also challenge for the starting spot on Team Canada at the World Juniors. Like many young goalies continued improvements on his rebound control and facing better shooters will be needed. He is a long-term project but one who could become a franchise goalie for his team. Expect Cossa to need at least a couple of years of AHL action after his junior career is done. Cossa’s game is reminiscent of Ben Bishop, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.