The future in goal appears bright for the Detroit Red Wings

With how uneasy the feeling is surrounding the Detroit Red Wings goaltending situation, things appear rather bright down the road.

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Heading into the season, the organization's top goaltending prospect was Sebastian Cossa. Cossa, 21, was drafted No. 15 overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He spent most of his first professional season in the ECHL backing the Toledo Walleye last season before jumping to the American Hockey League (AHL), where he split time with veteran Michael Hutchinson.

Cossa has posted a 6-6-3 record this year, with the Griffins backed by a .901 save percentage and 2.95 goals against average. Recently, Cossa went toe-to-toe with the Minnesota Wild's top prospect, Jesper Wallstedt. Many thought that Wallstedt had been Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman's target when he traded up to the 15th spot in the 2021 draft; instead, he selected Cossa, who enjoyed a tremendous junior career with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Wallstedt was picked by the Wild five choices later. This past week, the two top goaltending prospects that will be linked together for the duration of their career squared off in AHL action. Cossa won the battle this time, backing the Griffins to a 4-1 victory over the Iona Wild. Cossa turned aside 29 shots in the contest. Wallstedt made just 19 saves.

The future is bright for the Detroit Red Wings in goal, with two top prospects quickly developing at different levels.

As Cossa continues to develop with Grand Rapids, another young goaltender in the system is beginning to gain some serious traction. Trey Augustine recently led Team USA to a Gold Medal at the World Juniors in Gothenburg, Sweden. Team USA beat the host country convincingly 6-2 in the finals. Augustine made 24 saves in the finals. The Detroit Red Wings prospect went 4-0 in the tournament, posting a 1.75 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Augustine, a freshman at Michigan State University, has backed the Spartans to an 11-3-2 record in 17 appearances this season. He's maintained an impressive .916 save percentage and a 2.97 goals-against average.

Augustine was selected No. 41 overall in the second round of the 2023 NHL Entry Level Draft following a robust career with the U.S. National Development Team. He posted a 2.14 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 32 appearances in his draft year. Although I still consider Cossa as Detroit's top prospect, that gap has tightened up some with the emergence of Augustine. There is a chance Cossa will be ready to join the Detroit Red Wings as early as next season; it's more likely it will be in two seasons. I still believe with Alex Lyon and Ville Husso under contract next year, that will be the tandem in Detroit, allowing Cossa another year to mature with the Griffins. Augustine is still a few years away from making it to the show, but the future is bright. It's satisfying to know there are top goaltending prospects on the way; for a few years, there had been no goaltending prospects of substance in the program.