Drew Commesso in the AHL

Blackhawks goaltender speaks out amidst mental battle

Published February 1, 2024 at 11:37 PM
BY JOSHUA
     
The Chicago Blackhawks have welcomed former Boston College goalie, Drew Commesso, into their team as he turned pro last April. He had a successful season in the NCAA, playing 32 contests and winning 24 of them, while losing 8.

He was ranked fourth among NCAA goaltenders.

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However, he has been struggling in the AHL with an 8-10-2 record, a 2.91 GAA, and an .895 save percentage. He has managed to get one shutout in 20 games played.


Despite his struggles, the young 21-year-old Commesso has shown the attitude of a veteran and has handled the mental adversity with vigor. His coaches, Anders Sorenson and Mark Eaton, understand that struggles are a part of his growth and that the path to the NHL is not a straight line.



Commesso's biggest challenge has been to learn how to be a pro off the ice. Unlike in school, he doesn't have other subjects to take his mind off of his struggles. However, Boston Bruins goalie, Jeremy Swayman, has helped him make a minor tweak to his game that has been of great help.

The Blackhawks want Commesso to focus on the process rather than the results in order to improve himself as a goalie.

"I feel like right now my game is in an excellent spot," Commesso said. "I feel like I'm a much better goalie than I was to start the year even from the end of last season, so I feel like I've progressed very well and hopefully going to continue that and really just focusing on having a really strong and consistent end of the second half, that's my goal.

"I feel like I've caught up to the speed, I know what to expect, and I feel like I'm going to have a really good second half, so I'm excited."

Commesso will have a chance to get a mental reset over the AHL All-Star Break, and the team is still in the playoff race despite numerous injuries.

The IceHogs will need Commesso to continue to progress his game, and he feels like he has been doing what is expected of him.

Commesso was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2020 NHL Draft and may not be NHL-ready yet.

"I'd say it's something that I honestly think about a lot," Commesso said. "It's something that drives me every single day. I think it's really healthy to have that. I'm really close with a lot of the guys up there; I stay in touch with Alex Vlasic all the time, Kevin Korchinski has been great too, so watching them have success is awesome.

However, he continues to use the idea of being NHL-ready as a career motivator.
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Blackhawks goaltender speaks out amidst mental battle

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