Photo Credit – Rena Laverty
Drew Commesso is a 2020 NHL Draft eligible goaltender and he hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He is coming off of his second season with the USNTDP, in which he had posted a 2.05 goals against average (GAA) and a .920 save percentage (SV%) in 27 games played with the U18 club. Commesso’s goals against average and save percentage numbers are some of the best in USNTDP history. In fact, when you compare Commesso’s stat line against other goaltenders who have suited for the USNTDP in at least 20 games, he owned a better stat line than Spencer Knight, Joseph Woll, Jake Oettinger, Thatcher Demko, John Gibson and Jack Campbell.
Prior to his time with the USNTDP in Plymouth, Michigan, Commesso played prep school hockey in Needham, Massachusetts at the St. Sebastian’s School. St. Sebastian is one of the premier prep schools for hockey in Massachusetts. Quite a few current and former NHLers played prep school hockey for St. Sebastian including Rick DiPietro, Mike Grier, Carl Corazzini, Danny O’Regan and Noah Hanifin. During his time at St. Sebastian, he played in net in 28 games, but the bulk of his playing time came during his 2017-2018 campaign, in which he recorded a 2.13 GAA and a .918 SV%.
This upcoming season, Commesso will be moving back to Boston and joining the Boston University Terriers. He will be joining a loaded Terriers team which includes David Farrance, Domenick Fensore, Dylan Peterson (USNTDP teammate), Robert Mastrosimone and Luke Tuch (USNTDP teammate).
D.O.B – July 19, 2002
Nationality – USA
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Weight –181 lbs
Position – Goaltender
Catches – Left
Commesso’s Style Of Play
To kick things off, let’s take a look at how Commesso compares against other 2020 NHL Draft eligible goaltenders. In the data set (data sourced from InStat Hockey) below, you will find save percentages for shots directed at the five hole, above/below blocker and above/below glove. Per the data set, we gather that Commesso struggles with his five hole, his blocker work is comparable to other goaltenders in the class and his glove work could use some development especially when fielding shots that end up going below his glove.
In this draft class, a lot of scouts and fans will be looking to compare any goaltender to Yaroslav Askarov. Anytime that you have a premier athlete that stands out, you are always looking for the biggest differences between an athlete who is not as highly-touted but still has plenty of potential in the tank. When you compare Askarov and Commesso, I believe the biggest difference is how each goaltender utilizes their pads. Askarov is more efficient when power pushing off of his pads from side to side. He is faster with his pad work and tends to get better acceleration with each pad push. With Commesso, he still possesses the ability to push his pads to help give him the speed that he needs to move at a moment’s notice, but Askarov will beat him in a race. Also, per the data shown above, Commesso’s five hole is far less effective than Askarov’s.
While quickness and five hole work are the biggest differences between the two goaltenders, Commesso always keeps you guessing. Instead of letting you be patient with the puck, he ensures that you always have to be on your toes. Commesso has the ability to shift from standing tall to butterfly at a quick rate. Prior to writing this post, I timed Commesso’s shifting and determined that it normally takes him anywhere between .56 milliseconds to 0.8 milliseconds to shift up/down. With his ability to shift quickly, he can sell you on a gap and quickly adjust on the fly to eliminate that gap.
In terms of post work, Commesso tends to use RVH (Reverse Vertical Horizontal) over VH (Vertical Horizontal). If you are not familiar with post work, RVH and VH are commonly used when protecting the post. Commesso uses RVH to shield the post and provide little gaps for his opponent to find. In a video that Katie Greenway (retired goaltender and goaltender instructor) posted, she explains the differences between RVH and VH and notes that with RVH that goaltenders will use the leg that is not against the post as a “kickstand”. The kickstand or anchor allows the goaltender to quickly shift from the post back to the center of the crease as play moves. In the below tweet from Future Scope Hockey, you can check out an example of Commesso utilizing RVH when protecting the post.
Below is another instance of Commesso using RVH, but this time around, he quickly shifts back to the center of the crease once play alters direction. In this clip, you should take another look at Commesso defends the post. He uses his stick and blocker in an overlap position to act as a shield. While in this instance you see Commesso using his stick and blocker in the overlap, he will often position his pads in an overlap to provide some more security along the low post.
Goaltenders are also often criticized for rebounding issues. Anytime that you struggle to maintain possession of the puck after a shot in a high danger situation, you are susceptible to a quick follow-up/rebound shot. Per InStat Hockey, in 24 games tracked, Commesso had 89 uncontrolled rebounds. This means that Commesso coughed up a rebound and could not secure the puck immediately following. In addition, because of InStat’s tracking, we can decipher where the most uncontrolled rebounds are coming from. In the below goalie chart, you will see that the bulk of his uncontrolled rebounds bounced off of his pads and that is fairly normal for most goaltenders. No red flags.
James Reimer, Goaltender, Carolina Hurricanes
Like James Reimer, Commesso has the ability to fool his attacker in providing a gap and taking it away in a quick flash. Reimer and Commesso are not flashy goaltenders by any means, but they get the job done. Both goaltenders thrive when using RVH to protect the posts. Similarly to Reimer, I project Commesso as a fringe starter in the NHL with starter upside.
stats from InStat Hockey and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
Looking for other scouting reports? Check out the Prospects tab for our other scouting reports.
Need a scouting report on a particular prospect, contact us today!