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2021 NHL Draft: Blackhawks’ First-Round Goaltender Options

The Blackhawks could add a first-round goalie to their system for the third time in franchise history.

Chicago Blackhawks
Photos: NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks could select a goaltender in the first round for the third time in franchise history Friday.

The Blackhawks selected goalies Jimmy Waite eighth overall in 1987 and Adam Munro at No. 29 overall in 2001. Waite, who only played 106 games for Chicago behind Ed Belfour, is now the team’s goalie coach. Munro played 17 games in two seasons with the Blackhawks.

Sebastian Cossa and Jesper Wallstedt are projected to each be selected in the first round, which would mark the first time since 2012 two goalies are taken in the opening round (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning, No. 19; Malcolm Subban, Bruins, No. 24).

Sebastian Cossa (WHL-Edmonton)

Age: 18 (Nov. 21, 2002)
Size: 6-6, 212 pounds
Catches: Left
NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 1 North American
Elite Prospects: No. 22
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 19
Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 10
Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects): No. 24
Craig Button (TSN): No. 15

Related reading: The Athletic

Cossa was 17-1-1 with a 1.57 goals-against average, .941 save percentage, and four shutouts in 19 games this past season. He’s 38-7-4 with a 1.98 GAA, .928 save percentage, and eight shutouts in 52 career WHL games. Cossa uses his big frame to cover the net and quickly reads plays to be able to square his body up for shots. He’s usually calm in net and is selective when taking away angles from shooters. His athleticism and calm demeanor serves him well when trying to recover rebounds in the crease.

Jesper Wallstedt (SHL-Luleå)

Age: 18 (Nov. 14, 2002)
Size: 6-3, 212 pounds
Catches: Left
NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 1 European
Elite Prospects: No. 6
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 12
Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 11
Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects): No. 4
Craig Button (TSN): No. 7

Related reading: The Athletic

Wallstedt was 12-10-0 in 22 starts during his first SHL season. He also added a 2.23 GAA, .907 save percentage, and two shutouts. The big Swedish netminder is considered one of the best goalie prospects in recent memory. He doesn’t wow people with extreme athleticism or elite agility, but he possesses strong positioning and incredible ability to track the puck. Those two skills alone allow him to waste little movement as he makes saves. His IQ and tracking ability is what separates Wallstedt from the rest of the goalies in this class. All analysts agree that he is a bonafide first-round pick no matter what.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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