I’m pretty excited by this move. It’s super smart based on how the 1st-round played out.
And by the way: The University of Michigan owned the night.
Yzerman drafts goalie in 1st round
The Red Wings traded up to the 15th overall pick to select Cossa by sending three picks to the Dallas Stars -- the 23rd overall pick, a 2nd-round pick (48th overall) and a 5th-round pick (138th overall) in this year’s draft.
Cossa, 18, stands 6-foot-6 and is coming out of Canada’s Western Hockey League (WHL) where he posted a .941 save percentage through 19 games played this past season with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He also had 4 shutouts. He played 33 games with the Oil Kings in 2019-20 for a .921 save percentage -- he also had 4 shutouts that season.
GM Steve Yzerman made use of his picks surplus, something he has emphasized the importance of since he took control of the team. Yzerman said before the draft that his staff was planning to take the best player available, no matter the position. His focus, however, clearly has been on goaltending this week since he also traded UFA Jonathan Bernier and a draft pick for 25-year-old goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and then signed him to a two-year deal on Thursday.
During the ESPN draft broadcast, Yzerman said the addition of Nedeljkovic allows them to be more patient with Cossa.
That makes a lot of sense, yes. The Red Wings now have a clearer future in net with much more potential than the team has had in a while.
It’s also a very smart move based on how the 1st round played out because the talk heading into this draft was that Cossa and Jesper Wallstedt (ended up going 20th overall to Minnesota) would go in the top 20, perhaps top 15. Yzerman waited until the 15th pick to step in and make the move for Cossa, the player he and his staff apparently thought was best available at that point.
Note: The last time the Red Wings selected a goalie in the 1st round: Tom McCollum at 30th overall in 2008. McCollum is one of three goalies (now four with Cossa) in the history of Red Wings draft picks who was selected in the 1st round -- Jim Rutherford was selected 10th overall in 1969 and Terry Richardson was selected 11th overall in 1973.
Watch: Call with Cossa after draft
Red Wings first draft Swedish defenseman
The Cossa pick became the focus for the Red Wings on draft night, but let’s not forget it was Detroit’s second 1st-round pick of the night after they first selected Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinsson at 6th overall.
Edvinsson is 6-foot-5 and is described as a “detailed defender with high-level in-zone instincts, a tight neutral zone gap, well-timed physicality, and supporting instincts to match” by Elite Prospects.
He played 10 games with Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League this past season.
- Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday starting at 11 a.m. (NHLN, SN, SN NOW). I’ll have all of the Red Wings picks here.
3 University of Michigan players taken in top 5
The Buffalo Sabres selected University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power at 1st overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.
It was quite the night for the Wolverines with Power going 1st overall, then two of his teammates and a commit going in the top 5. Michigan became the first college hockey school to have three players selected in the 1st round of the NHL Draft.
Power’s teammate at Michigan, center Matthew Beniers, was selected 2nd overall by the Seattle Kraken.
Luke Hughes, who is to play at Michigan this fall, was selected 4th overall by the New Jersey Devils with whom his brother, Jack Hughes, already plays.
Michigan center Kent Johnson then went 5th overall to the Columbus Blue Jackets. And finally, right wing Mackie Samoskevich, who also is set to go to Michigan this fall, was selected 24th overall by the Florida Panthers.
Compete 1st-round selections
Weird: Montreal ended up drafting Logan Mailloux, 18, at 31st overall despite the fact that he renounced himself from the draft after paying a fine for an offense of a sexual nature in Sweden last year.
NHL schedule released, divisions back to ‘normal’
The Red Wings will be back in the Atlantic Division for the 2021-22 season as the league returns to “normal” -- the way the divisions were in 2019-20 before the pandemic forced changes.
I say “normal” because there will be a slight change in the Pacific and Central divisions: The new Seattle Kraken will join the Pacific Division and push the Arizona Coyotes to the Central Division beginning next season. This is not a popular move among Coyotes fans. They have a lot not going their way lately.
Here’s the Red Wings schedule.