Bultman discusses World Junior Championship expectations for the Wings’ eight WJC-participating prospects

The Athletic’s Max Bultman filed an article this morning discussing the expectations placed upon the Red Wings’ eight World Junior Championship-participating prospects–Jan Bednar (Czechia), Red Savage and Carter Mazur (USA), Sebastian Cossa and Donovan Sebrango (Canada), Eemil Viro (Finland) and Simon Edvinsson and Theodor Niederbach (Sweden):

Of course, having the most talent in the tournament does not guarantee anything. Especially in a single-elimination tournament, a team is only as good as its goaltender when it counts. And for Canada, there’s a very real chance that goaltender will be Detroit’s other 2021 first-round pick, Sebastian Cossa. Cossa will have to earn the net over Dylan Garand and Brett Brochu first, but if he does, it’s going to be a big opportunity for the Red Wings’ goalie of the future.

Where to set expectations for Cossa is a trick question. Panthers first-round pick Spencer Knight was 2-2 with a .913 save percentage in his draft-plus-one tournament. Predators first-rounder Yaroslav Askarov went 3-3 with a .914. Those seem like the most relevant comps, but both were 18 at the time of those tournaments, whereas Cossa is 19 — meaning despite this being his first World Juniors, it’s also his last. Asking Cossa to be as good as Knight was in his dominant 2021 tournament (when he had a .940 save percentage in six games) would be unfair. But if he’s Canada’s starter, the pressure will nonetheless be real to help the tournament’s best team get the job done.

Continued (paywall)

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.