Blackhawks pick goalie Drew Commesso, six other prospects on Day 2 of NHL Draft
The Hawks’ eight-man 2020 draft class includes three forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender.
After selecting forward Lukas Reichel in the first round Tuesday, the Blackhawks added seven more prospects during Day 2 of the NHL Draft on Wednesday.
Round 2, No. 46 overall
Drew Commesso, Goaltender, Boston University (NCAA)
Scouting director Mark Kelley and general manager Stan Bowman had hinted often over the last few weeks that the Hawks wanted to boost their goalie pipeline, which entered the draft pretty bare.
They did just that with Commesso, who was ranked by most scouts as the second- or third-best goalie in this draft class. Although he’s a bit of a late bloomer, he boasts big upside.
“I’m a very calm and efficient goalie,” Commesso said. “You won’t really find me scrambling or really making those crazy highlight-reel saves much. I’d rather just make the simple save in my chest.”
The 6-2 Massachusetts native went 18-7-1 with a .920 save percentage with the U.S. National Team Development Program last season.
He’s a freshman at Boston University, where he’ll be teammates with fellow Hawks prospects Alex Vlasic and Jake Wise. BU goalie coach Brian Eklund has coached Commesso since age 10, and Commesso said the two are working on improving his skating and rebound control.
Kelley said the Hawks were “very, very concerned” that Commesso might be taken before the 46th pick, and they were relieved that he wasn’t.
“A lot of times, we don’t talk about goaltenders’ hockey sense, but with Drew, it’s obvious,” Kelley said. “[With] his IQ, he understands how the play develops. So that bodes well for him.”
Round 3, No. 79 overall
Landon Slaggert, Center, Notre Dame (NCAA)
The Hawks reached a bit for Slaggert, who was projected to go several rounds later.
Slaggert had 24 points in 47 games for the USNTDP last season. He’s a freshman at Notre Dame, where his father is an assistant coach. He projects as a bottom-six grinder if he makes it to the NHL.
“I see my game as a 200-foot game,” he said. “I bring a lot of energy on the ice. I’m a tough player to play against.”
Round 3, No. 81 overall
Wyatt Kaiser, Defenseman, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
The Hawks found out at the start of the third round that they’d receive this pick and promptly used it on Kaiser, a freshman at Minnesota-Duluth and one of the top high school players in Minnesota last season.
Kaiser is a mobile defenseman with good awareness in his own zone.
“My skating is a big [strength],” he said. “Skating, moving the puck fast. Some of my weaknesses [are] the offensive side of the game. Just figuring out how to be more offensive.”
Round 4, No. 110 overall
Michael Krutil, Defenseman, Sparta Praha (Czech Republic)
The Hawks played their two 2019 NHL Global Series games in Berlin and Prague. A year later, they selected players from both of those cities in this draft.
Krutil is a 6-1 defensive defenseman who mostly played for Sparta Praha’s U-20 team and the Czech U-18 national team last season. Kelley said Krutil will move over to North America and join Kelowna in the WHL eventually.
He said skating, passing and physicality are the strongest parts of his game, but he needs to work on his quickness, decision-making and shooting.
Round 5, No. 141 overall
Isaak Phillips, Defenseman, Sudbury (OHL)
Phillips combined his lanky 6-3 frame with decent scoring numbers with Sudbury to move up into the fifth round. Interestingly, he has played internationally for Jamaica.
“I’m a two-way defenseman who has good skating and good size,” he said. “I’m a guy that likes to jump up into the place and likes to use my feet to add to that second wave. But I’m also a guy who can defend in his own end [with a] big reach, big body.”
New Blackhawks pick Isaak Phillips wins the award for best-dressed and best lighting on Zoom.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 7, 2020
His dad hails from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and he played for Team Jamaica in 2018, but he's grown up and plays mostly in Canada. Fascinating backstory. pic.twitter.com/biAuutlKOi
Round 6, No. 172 overall
Chad Yetman, Right Wing, Erie (OHL)
Yetman scored 74 points in 61 games last season with the Erie Otters, catching the eyes of Hawks scouts there watching Jamie Drysdale (drafted sixth by the Ducks).
The 20-year-old wing went undrafted in his first two years of eligibility but finally found a taker this year.
“It’s been a little crazy this last 20 minutes,” Yetman said, grinning. “[I was] sitting around, and my phone started to blow up. I wasn’t even watching. My heart kind of stopped a little, and I said to my mom, ‘I think I got selected.’ ”
Round 7, No. 188 overall
Louis Crevier, Defenseman, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
The Hawks unexpectedly traded their 2021 seventh-round pick to the Canadiens in order to pick Crevier.
The Quebecois defenseman’s biggest selling point is that he’s 6-8, 216 pounds at 19.
“Actually, I don’t really know why,” Crevier said. “I don’t have someone in my family that’s really tall. Just fortunate to have this gift.”