Detroit — Goaltender Sebastian Cossa doesn’t know where he’ll be when the hockey season gets underway for real.
Cossa would love for it to be in Grand Rapids, to begin his pro career, but the Red Wings haven’t told him anything. Possibly, maybe probably, Cossa will be returned to junior hockey and he’ll play one final season with Edmonton in the WHL.
Those decisions will officially be made in the next couple of weeks. But Cossa did all he could do in the NHL Prospects Tournament, capped Monday by stopping all 16 shots he faced in the Wings’ 4-1 victory over Toronto.
“I kept the stance pretty tight this weekend,” said Cossa, who stopped 33 of 34 shots he saw in two games. “I was playing some composed hockey, calm and playing my own game. I don’t think I was getting crazy or a little scrambly in net.
“Coming in (Monday) halfway through the game, those can be tough games. But I felt I did a pretty good job of being myself and taking it shot by shot.”
Cossa, a 2021 first-round pick by the Wings, spent most of the summer in Detroit working with the coaching staff and working with Wings players on and off the ice.
It was a productive time, said Cossa, who was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning world junior team in August, then joined the Wings’ prospects for this tournament.
“It’s been a good summer, a short summer, but it’s really nice to come down here training with these coaches, and I can’t wait to continue with that (in training camp),” Cossa said. “The confidence is pretty high right now and I’m feeling good.
“It was big, for sure, to see the coaches (during the summer in Detroit); they’re there for a reason, they’re world-class, and along with (facing) the NHL shots, it’s been a real good summer. Throw in the world juniors, and those are some pretty good players too, so it’s been good hockey and I’m continuing to build on that.”
There was speculation Cossa could begin this season in Grand Rapids, but the Wings’ organization has seemingly filled the Griffins’ depth chart with experienced goaltenders, likely putting Cossa in junior hockey.
But Ben Simon, the Grand Rapids Griffins coach who coached the Wings’ prospect team, felt Cossa made a case for himself.
“He played extremely well here, the times he played, did a real good job,” Simon said. “It’s always good to have tough decisions to make, whether a coach or management team. A lot of things can happen between now and the start of the regular season. As a player, all you can do is show up every day and compete, and when your opportunity is there, make the most of it.
“You can tell he’s ready and hungry. Let’s see what happens in camp.”
Mitchell Martin, Eemil Viro, Cross Hanas and Riley Piercey (empty net) scored the Wings’ goals Monday, as they finished the three-game tournament 2-1-0.
“There’s not a lot of preparation, three games in four nights (one true practice), and it’s not your team, per se, but you’re looking for guys who are consistent. Coaches love guys who are consistent and dependable and accountable, and learn from their mistakes,” Simon said. “You’ll inevitably make mistakes, but when you see their growth and no repetitive mistakes, that’s what you like to see.
“Our team, in general, all the prospects that were here, showed that (consistency, accountability).”