Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Drew Commesso.
Boston native Drew Commesso has spent the last two seasons backstopping the US National Team Development Program in the USHL, exhibition games against college teams, and in their various tournaments. Playing this year with the Under-18 squad, he put up a 2.05 goals-against-average and .920 save percentage in 27 games. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the team’s showcase event, the IIHF Under-18s. Last season with the Under-17 squad, he played in 37 games and put up a 3.24 goals-against-average and an .886 save percentage. Commesso also represented the US at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. In four tournament games he put up a 2.48 goals-against-average and an .899 save percentage.
Prior to moving to Ann Arbor to play for the US NTDP, Commesso played for St. Sebastian’s prep school. He also played on the Cape Cod Whalers Under-16 team. Commesso is committed to playing hockey for the Boston University Terriers next season, joining fellow US NTDP draft prospect Luke Tuch. Should he change his mind and opt to go the CHL route, his rights are owned by the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. They drafted Commesso with their first-round pick, 11th overall, in the 2018 QMJHL American Draft.
Drew Commesso Scouting Report
Goaltender — shoots Left — catches Left
Born July 19th, 2002 — Boston, Massachusetts
Height 6’2″ — Weight 180 lbs [188 cm/82 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
Commesso is 6-foot-2 and takes full advantage of every inch. He gets well out of the net, cutting down angles and challenging shooters. He is able to get back quickly if an attacker drives the net and tries to beat him on the deke. Powerful legs also allow Commesso to get from post to post quickly. He tracks the puck well and anticipates plays well, allowing him to get square to the puck. His angles and positioning are almost always spot on.
Commesso gets down in the butterfly quickly. His strong legs take away the bottom of the net. Meanwhile, his quick glove hand is effective at taking away the top of the net. He fights to find the puck through traffic, competing well when screened. Like many young goalies, Commesso will need to work on his rebound control. He often kicks pucks out in front of the net instead of getting them safely into the corners. Commesso is good at catching pucks on his glove side, but shots on the high blocker can also lead to rebounds. Commesso’s compete level and his athleticism help him to recover and he can often make a big save even with those rebounds going out.
Commesso is an excellent puck handler. He gets out of his net often to cut off dump-ins and acts as a third defenceman back there. This helps his team to start the transition game quickly and limits the opposition’s forecheck. Commesso is accurate with his first pass to his defenders. He’s even been known to clear the puck off the glass and out of the zone when killing penalties. He can also make a long pass and hit a forward in the neutral zone if the other team gets caught making a line change.
Commesso is calm and composed in the net. He does not let a bad goal get to him and is prepared to make the next save. His composure provides leadership, as the NTDP defence seems to play better and more confident when he is in net, as opposed to when his back-up, Noah Grannan takes the crease. Commesso does not get rattled when facing a lot of shots or heavy traffic. He is also ready to make the next save even when his team has controlled the puck for long stretches. He remains focused in all situations. Commesso also reads the play well, knowing when his teammates need him to freeze the puck for a whistle, or when he should keep it moving so they can make a quick counterattack.
Projection and Comparison
Young goaltenders often need time to mature and Commesso is no different. Some time in the NCAA with BU will certainly benefit him. It will also allow him time to get in the gym and build a bit of a leaner body which he will need to go through the stresses of pro hockey in the future. He is a potential number one goalie down the road if he can continue to develop. The biggest weakness right now is his rebound control. Commesso’s game is reminiscent of Marty Turco, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Drew Commesso that are available on youtube and twitter.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Drew Commesso Main Photo:
PLYMOUTH, MI – DECEMBER 11: Drew Commesso #35 of the U.S. Nationals makes a save against the Slovakia Nationals during game two of day one of the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on December 11, 2018, in Plymouth, Michigan. Team USA defeated Slovakia 7-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)