The 2021 National Hockey League Draft will be held virtually from July 23-24. The Edmonton Oilers hold five picks in the Draft, beginning with the 20th-overall selection. Stay tuned to EdmontonOilers.com from now until the event for consistent coverage.
EDMONTON, AB - In Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League Draft history, the club has selected a goaltender in the first round twice but that could change at this year's selection ceremony.
The Orange & Blue chose five-time Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr eighth overall in 1981 and picked Colorado Avalanche goalie Devan Dubnyk 14th overall in 2004.
With the 19th-overall selection in the 2021 Draft, there is potential for the Oilers to pluck a standout keeper should he be available when President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Ken Holland and his management brass are on the call.
During a season of limited travel, the organization didn't have to venture far to watch 6-foot-6, 210-pound Edmonton Oil Kings guardian Sebastian Cossa. Playing from the Oilers home court at Rogers Place and the Downtown Community Arena, Cossa showed brilliantly over the past two seasons. In that time, he put up a 38-7-4 record, a 1.98 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and eight shutouts in 52 games.
"In a sentence, Cossa projects as a quality NHL starting goaltender with the potential to become an upper-echelon goalie," wrote NHL Prospects Writer Corey Pronman of The Athletic. "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."
The Oil Kings puck-stopper was instrumental in backstopping Edmonton to the top of the WHL regular season standings in '20-21 as the club fashioned a 20-2-0-1 team record, which featured a plus-63 goal differential of 104 goals for and 41 against.
Cossa is deserving of the first-round projections, with the potential to become an ace at the next level under proper development. The 18-year-old is the top-ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting and could be the first net-protector picked in the 2021 NHL Draft if the No. 1 ranked European goaltender, Jesper Wallstedt, isn't selected before.
"For his size, Cossa moves extremely well. He gives himself a chance, he battles hard and never gives up on plays. You look at his positional play and it's good with his typical butterfly style and great net coverage, whether it's flaring out his pads for the low corners. He also keeps his body upright in case there's a deflection so he can use his shoulders or glove," NHL Central Scouting Goalie Scout Al Jensen told NHL.com writer Mike G. Morreale.
"When he does his movements in the crease, it's generally controlled. He's so smart at reading plays. He was able to make a ton of cross-ice one-time saves by being able to read the play and being square to shots. There's just a huge upside with him as well as Jesper. The two of them are head and shoulders above the rest of the Draft class goalies right now."