The Detroit News’s John Niyo weighs in on the Red Wings’ decisions to upgrade their goaltending for both the present and long-term future, via the team’s trades for 25-year-old Alex Nedeljkovic and the draft-day move up to pick Sebastian Cossa 15th overall.
Two days, two netminders, and perhaps one less pressing concern for the Wings’ rebuilding effort in Detroit.
Thursday’s trade with Carolina for goalie Alex Nedeljkovic offers the more immediate solution, bringing in a 25-year-old Calder Trophy finalist signed for two years at a reasonable $3 million annual salary-cap hit. That deal only cost the Wings a late third-round pick (94th overall) and the rights to pending free agent Jonathan Bernier, the 32-year-old who’d made nearly 100 starts for Detroit over the last three seasons.
But then Yzerman followed it up Friday with a bold move in the first round of the draft, swinging another trade — this time with old friend Jim Nill and the Dallas Stars — to move up with Detroit’s second first-round pick and select who the Wings felt was the top goalie in this class, 18-year-old Sebastian Cossa of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings.
That made a big night even bigger for the Red Wings, who’d already used their initial first-rounder (No. 6 overall) on a smooth-skating, left-shot defenseman from Sweden, Simon Edvinsson, who carries some serious upside in his nearly 6-foot-5 frame. And yet he still may find himself looking up to Cossa one day, because the new goalie is a towering 6-foot-6 presence in the crease.
Niyo continues (subscriber-only), noting that there are similarities between the latter move and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s drafting of Andrei Vasilevskiy in 2012 (with a pick snagged from the Red Wings), but he points out that Cossa is, of course, newly-drafted…