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Top 10 Blackhawks Prospects Ranked: Commesso Clocks in at #6

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As the Chicago Blackhawks head into the 2023-24 season, they have a loaded pipeline of prospects. Where it gets difficult, is determining exactly where they are on their journey and how that plays into their ranking.

Instead of writing a longer 2000+ word piece, CHN has opted to write ten shorter pieces that lays out the reasoning for the spot in their respective ranking. Believe me, looking at the list it’s not a simple notion outside of #1, which is a slam dunk. Essentially, the considerations with rankings worked like this:

  • Where is this current prospect in their readiness with the Blackhawks? A Lukas Reichel is much closer compared to a Gavin Hayes.
  • How does the current prospect rank out in terms of their ceiling as opposed to other prospects on the list?
  • How has the prospect performed within their respective league–and how does that league rank out against others?

CHN’s sixth ranked prospect in the Blackhawks system is Drew Commesso.

Consistent, Calm, and Cool Commesso

When he speaks it’s calm and when he plays it’s consistent. Be it his positioning in the crease or his measured numbers after three years at Boston University, Commesso when scouted was not a “flopper,” instead, it was always very even keeled and an almost automatic fluidity when he was being the pipes. That’s not to say, however, that he’s mechanical.

Quite the opposite. Commesso can move quickly in the paint and will make the big save when he needs to. It’s also a reason why he will be in the Top 10 listings and Arvid Soderblom, who has experience with the Blackhawks and a full season with Rockford, will be included in the honorable mentions section later on this week.

Commesso, from all appearances, seems like the goalie who can steal a game when the IceHogs–or down the road–the Blackhawks will need it. The development will take likely a couple years, but a steady career at Boston speaks to the ceiling that is there and the potential of Commesso eventually being the #1 goalie in the system.

Physical and Mental Toughness

Commesso played at a big time program with Boston U. The Terriers are always playing the best and competing in high stakes games whether its collisions with national powerhouses or competing in the Frozen Four. Commesso trained with and played for a program that day in and day out expects the best in order to keep up with National Championship expectations.

Second, the kid trains like a mad man. I wrote about this before with his regimen but he’s going to do everything possible to put himself into the right frame of mind while being at his best physically.

One other note. The Blackhawks taking Adam Gajan early in the 2023 second-round can certainly seem threatening, especially since there’s only so much room in the crease and on the bench for a goalie. Commesso is only three years out from when he was drafted. So when asked about it, he answered in his typical composed fashion, as if it were just everyday conversation.

“It has no effect on me stopping the puck,” Commesso said. “Whether it’s during the season things happen or things that happen in the offseason, I’m really just focused on my game, train, and put myself in the best position.”

Blackhawks Full Time ETA: 2025-26

From a statistical standpoint, Commesso’s save percentage remained almost dead even in his three years, averaging out to .914. Steady–right down to the save percentage.

Until Gajan was taken, Commesso was the highest pick they’d used on a goalie in nearly 20 years. Three seasons later and after a regime change, the 20-year-old watches Chicago just a few picks after the first round wrapped up. He shrugged it off and he’s likely right to. The Blackhawks need goaltending depth, and by the time Commesso has likely made his way to Chicago, Gajan will likely be cutting his teeth in Rockford.

Commesso could get a cup of coffee this season and he’ll likely see more action next year, but a full-time gig in Chicago seems at least a couple seasons away. But don’t be surprised if a great season puts him with the big club a bit earlier, perhaps in March 2025 if things break the right way.

Whatever happens, the ceiling is high and if the work ethic leads to even greater things, Chicago should be set between the pipes for some time.

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