We present a numerical study of the collective dynamics in a population of coupled excitable lasers with saturable absorber. At variance with previous studies where real-valued (lossy) coupling was considered, we focus here on the purely imaginary coupling (evanescent wave coupling). We show that evanescently coupled excitable lasers exhibit synchronization like the lossy coupled ones. Furthermore, we show that out-of-diagonal disorder-induced localization of excitability takes place for imaginary coupling too, but it can be frustrated by nonvanishing linewidth enhancement factor. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].