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Blackhawks NCAA prospect update for 11/30: Commesso back to excellence for Boston

Greene, Thompson and Wise continue to find the scoresheet during this college season.

Notre Dame v Boston University
Drew Commesso of the Boston Terriers makes a glove save during the first period against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

We’re continuing our tour through the Chicago Blackhawks prospect pipeline with a stop in the NCAA.


Ryan Greene, Boston

Stats: 12 points (6 G, 6 A), 4 PIM, 35 SOG, 1 PPG in 12 games played.

Greene exploded for five points on Nov. 11 against Massachusetts, his first game played in November. In the next game, on the next day, Greene added another goal. Greene has found more of his scoring touch over the last six games, scoring four goals, more than doubling his season total. With a point-per-game pace now about one-third through the season, Greene is having the kind of season you’d ideally like to see out of a second-round pick who’s a freshman in college.

Aidan Thompson, Denver

Stats: 6 points (3 G, 3 A), 0 PIM, 13 SOG, 1 PPG in 6 games played.

Like Greene, Thompson has recently exploded after getting into his first game of the season. Since his debut game, Thompson has maintained more than a point-per-game pace, with his six points coming in his last five games. Thompson has also shot the puck on goal 12 times in his last five games and has become a consistent member of the top-ranked Pioneers’ lineup as the third-line center, centering two other drafted prospects in Tristan Broz (Pittsburgh’s 2021 second-round pick) and Jared Wright (Los Angeles’ 2022 sixth-round pick).

Dominic James, Minnesota-Duluth

Stats: 9 points (4 G, 5 A), 6 PIM, 29 SOG in 13 games played.

James has scored three points in his last three games, including a goal and two assists. Those points came in the last two games against Western Michigan, with James also taking two penalty minutes in the second game. James, like Thompson, is playing third-line center and seems to be finding chemistry with his linemates: Ben Steeves, an undrafted freshman, and Cole Spicer, a Boston draft pick. Steeves has nine points in 11 games played, with James providing assists on several of his eight goals.

Jake Wise, Ohio State

Stats: 17 points (6 G, 11 A), 6 PIM, 32 SOG, 3 PPG in 16 games played.

Wise is becoming, as many believed he may be when he was drafted, a steal. With more than a point-per-game pace nearly halfway through the season, Wise is already closing in on the 28 points he scored in 35 games last season. He’ll probably get there, too, especially as he continues playing first-line center for the Buckeyes, a team ranked No. 17 in the most recent polls despite a lack of NHL-drafted talent outside of Wise.

Landon Slaggert, Notre Dame

Stats: 3 points (1 G, 2 A), 4 PIM, 27 SOG in 14 games played.

There are still about 20 games left for Slaggert to salvage something from this initial wreck of a season, but it’s not looking very hopeful. After scoring 26 points in 40 games last season with the Fighting Irish, Slaggert has fallen to just three in 14 games this season, his worst numbers since moving on to college. Due to the play of others and his own relative lack of production, Slaggert’s stock has drastically fallen in the collegiate ranks, now well behind fellow Irish Ryder Rolston. Slaggert has scored just one goal on 27 shots this season, so his luck could change, but hope for that continues to dwindle. The only good news is that Slaggert is still playing on the Irish’s first line.

Ryder Rolston, Notre Dame

Stats: 11 points (4 G, 7 A), 4 PIM, 59 SOG in 16 games played.

Meanwhile in South Bend, despite playing on the fourth line for the Irish, Rolston is continuing a solid sophomore effort, scoring two points in his last six games. Despite not getting significant time on either special team unit, Rolston also remains a shot production machine. That means his four goals, which have come on a shot percentage of just 6.78 percent, will likely be joined by several more goals before season’s end as he’s due for a positive regression in goal scoring. Last season, Rolston finished with 10 goals on 109 shots, a shot percentage of 9.2 percent. A progression to that mark would help Rolston snap out of his current nine-game goal drought.


Taige Harding, Providence

Stats: 9 points (2 G, 7 A), 17 PIM, 25 SOG, 1 PPG in 15 games played.

As previously written, if Harding can keep himself out of the penalty box, he’ll find the score sheet. With four points and zero penalties in his last six games, that’s proving accurate. All of those recent points have been assists, but that’s not unexpected for a defenseman, as Harding climbs up the depth chart to the second pairing for the Friars. Harding is displaying some adept playmaking skill in his second year in the NCAA and has already come a long way from his one-point performance in 15 games last year.

Connor Kelley, Providence

Stats: 4 points (0 G, 4 A), 6 PIM, 4 SOG in 11 games played.

Kelley missed the last game for Providence and has been out with an injury for the Friars since Nov. 12. The last time Kelley played for the Friars, he did so in the spot Harding now occupies on the second pairing.

Wyatt Kaiser, Minnesota-Duluth

Stats: 4 points (2 G, 2 A), 30 PIM, 14 SOG in 13 games played.

In his last four games, Kaiser has gone without a point, although he’s added four shots in those games. With 19 points in 34 games last season, Kaiser has some work to do to catch up, although he has already scored as many goals as he did all of last season at two. Kaiser remains a top-pairing defenseman for what should be one of the best teams in college hockey. Kaiser is likely done in the NCAA after this season, having used up three of his four years of NCAA eligibility and the Blackhawks in need of young defensemen. Kaiser’s now looking to end the season on a high note, hopefully staying out of the box and getting back on the score sheet.


Dominic Basse, St. Cloud State

Stats: .948 save percentage, 9 GA, 173 SA, 6 wins in 7 games played.

Basse is not falling off, at least not yet (massive knock on wood). In his third year in the NCAA — his first with St. Cloud State — Basse has two shutouts and has allowed just nine goals on 173 shots against for No. 3 ranked St. Cloud State. Basse is outplaying battery partner Jaxon Castor (.923 save percentage), although the duo is splitting the net equally so far this season for the likely Frozen Four-bound squad. Basse has also lost just one game for St. Cloud, which has lost three overall. With the most talented squad in front of him of his career, Basse may finally be showing what he can actually do.

Drew Commesso, Boston

Stats: .915 save percentage, 18 GA, 203 SA, 6 wins in 8 games played.

While Basse has found his stride, Commesso is rediscovering his own. After a rough start to the season — highlighted by the team-wide disaster of a 9-2 loss to Michigan on Oct. 14 — Commesso has a .915 save percentage in eight appearances. In his last five games, Commesso has 4-1 record and a .931 save percentage. While St. Cloud State’s defense has been key in Basse’s resurgence, Commesso can’t say the same, as the former second-round pick is inundated with shots every game. Because of his strong play, though, Commesso appears to be fully in control of BU’s starters net, as he should be.