BOSTON — First-year Boston University men’s hockey coach Jay Pandolfo conceded that it was somewhat of an unorthodox move.
But that didn’t stop him from naming Drew Commesso an assistant captain as the goaltender enters his junior season with high expectations placed on his shoulders of being the anchor of the Terriers’ defense.
“I expect Drew to have a huge year,” Pandolfo said during Tuesday’s Hockey East media day at TD Garden. “He’s put a lot of work in this summer. He’s dedicated to the program and he’s also been named an assistant captain, too, which just shows the type of leadership he has. You don’t see a lot of coaches naming goalies assistant captains, but he deserves it and we’re proud of him.”
Commesso showed his qualifications of earning the elevated role with his play in-between the pipes last season. Not only did the 20-year-old post a 2.52 goals against average and a .914 save percentage in 28 appearances, he also became the youngest goalie to ever start for the United States in the Olympics. Despite his youthfulness, the Norwell, Mass. native looked poised on the Olympic stage in Beijing, going 2-0 with a .963 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average.
It will almost be expected that Commesso, who was named to the Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team as a freshman, will take the wealth of experience gained from last season and use it to take a leap in his play during the upcoming campaign. That thinking may be part of the reason why BU was selected to finish second only behind Northeastern in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.
While Commesso has shown he can get the job done in net, he won’t have to lead the Terriers all by himself. Commesso, who was selected at No. 46 overall in the second round by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2020 NHL Draft, joins senior captain Domenick Fensore along with fellow assistant captains Jay O’Brien, Case McCarthy and Luke Tuch in BU’s leadership group. And while it might be different to see the “A” on Commesso’s sweater, it’s fitting due to the large role he’ll play for the Terriers this season.
Commesso and BU open up the season by hosting Bentley University on Oct. 1 at Agganis Arena.