ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Arvid Soderblom was the main guy in goal for the IceHogs the last two seasons. Now, he’s a fixture with the Blackhawks. Sliding into Soderblom’s place as the talented, young newcomer in goal for the IceHogs now is 21-year-old Drew Commesso.

Commesso was the Blackhawks’ second-round draft pick in 2020. The Blackhawks obviously felt highly of him then, and they think highly of him now after he has completed three impressive seasons at Boston University. Commesso was with the Blackhawks through training camp.

“I thought he had a really good camp,” said IceHogs’ head coach Anders Sorensen. “I’m not a goalie guy by any means. I noticed a difference in his presence in net in training camp and in exhibition games.”

“The competition level was great,” said Commesso of Blackhawks’ camp. “Everyone was really competing and really setting the tone for the season.”

Commesso was with the IceHogs briefly this past May for some practices after finishing at Boston University and before he left to compete with Team USA in the World Championships. He already has played on a lot of big stages. At Boston University he played in the Frozen Four last season. In 2022 he played in the Olympics for the United States.

“It was amazing,” said Commesso of the Olympics experience. “It was probably the best month of my life, to be honest with you. It was such an amazing experience being over there meeting all the other athletes competing on that stage. It’s kind of tough to get bigger than that.”

Playing on those big stages has helped Commesso keep level-headed on the ice.

“It’s really helped me focus on just playing the game. It’s the same pockets, the same ice. It’s the same game no matter where you play it.”

Growing up in Massachusetts, Commesso was a Boston Bruins fan as a kid. He used to go to Bruins games all the time and study his idol.

“Tuukka Rask was really my idol growing up. We were very lucky. We had seats probably three rows behind the net my whole life. Me being a Bruins fan at that age and getting to watch Tuukka Rask one of the best goalies of all time night in and night out I learned a lot.”

“One thing I got from his game was his compete, and his athleticism. He was extremely competitive and athletic, and I think that’s something that can help my game a lot.”

NOTE: At least early on this season, Commesso will be splitting time in goal in Rockford with returning IceHogs goaltender Jaxson Stauber. The IceHogs open their season Friday night in California against the San Jose Barracuda.