Thatcher Demko
Image: USA Hockey

Thatcher Demko

Hometown:

San Diego California

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1995-12-08

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2014

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

2nd round (36th overall), 2014

Weight:

190 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Thatcher Demko played midget hockey for the Tier 1 Junior Gulls program in southern Callfornia. In 25 games he was 12-12-1 with a 2.47 goals against and .913 save percentage. Demko was invited to USA Hockey’s Select 16 Player Development camp in Rochester, NY in June 2011 and was selected to represent the USA in the 2011 U17 Five Nations Cup in August 2011.

2011-12: Demko returned to California after winning a gold medal with the USA U17 squad at the 2011 Five Nations Tournament in August. He spent just over a month with the U16 Los Angeles Junior Kings before joining the USHL’s Omaha Lancers in December. Demko represented the USA at the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. In 15 games with the Lancers he was 9-3 with 1 shutout and had a 2.87 goals against and .899 save percentage. Demko played seven games with the Junior Kings; posting a 2.29 goals against and .907 save percentage. He appeared in two games at the WHC and had a 1.09 goals against and .949 save percentage, recording 22 saves in a shootout victory over Sweden in the semifinals, and was 2-0 in three games at the Five Nations Tournament with a 2.63 goals against and .911 save percentage.

2012-13: Demko was invited to join USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI — skating for the NDTP’s U18 squad as a 16-year-old — and in December 2012 committed to playing college hockey at Boston College in 2013-14. He played for Team USA’s U18 team in the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. He was 31-9-3 with six shutouts and had a 2.06 goals against and .911 save percentage in 45 games for the NDTP’s U18 team. Demko was 2-2 in four games at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament, with both losses coming in overtime, and had a 3.27 goals against and .895 save percentage. He was 4-3 in seven games with one shutout for the USA silver medal-winning squad in Sochi; posting a 2.24 goals against and .899 save percentage.

2013-14: Thatcher Demko gradually assumed the starting position for Boston College as a freshman after splitting time with junior Brian Billett early in the year; backstopping the Eagles to the Frozen Four semifinals. In 24 games he was 16-5-3 with two shutouts and had a 2.24 goals against and .919 save percentage. BC won the Hockey East regular season title and was among the top-ranked teams in the country most of the year. The Eagles were upset by Notre Dame in a three-game Hockey East quarterfinal series but rebounded to capture the NCAA Northeast Regional — defeating Denver and Massachusetts-Lowell — before falling 5-4 to eventual national champion Union, 5-4, in a Frozen Four semifinal game. Demko was one of three goalies invited to USA Hockey’s U20 evaluation camp in July and was with the team at the 2014 World Junior Championship but did not see any action. He played for Team Johnson in the 2013 USA Hockey/CCM All-American Prospects game in September. Demko was the top ranked North American goaltender in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Vancouver in the second round (36th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Demko improved his numbers in 2014-15 winning 19 games in 35 appearances while posting a 2.19 goals against and .925 save percentage. The Eagles finished the season with a 21-14-3 record unfortunately they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Demko was chosen to represent the USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship and posted terrific numbers (1.74 goals against and .937 save percentage) despite the Americans being eliminated in the quarter-final round. In April 2015 Demko had double hip labrum surgery and spent the summer recovering. Although unable to play while recovering from surgery, he attended the Canucks rookie camp in July 2015 to get a hands on feel for the Canucks organization and meet his fellow prospects.

2015-16: Demko, fully recovered from his off-season surgery, was one of the top goalies in college hockey as a junior for Boston College; signing a three-year entry-level contract with Vancouver in April 2016. Playing in 39 of 41 games for the Eagles, he was 27-8-4 with 10 shutouts and had a 1.88 goals against and .935 save percentage. BC tied Providence for first in Hockey East, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after a 5-4 loss to Northeastern in the conference tournament semifinals. The Eagles defeated Harvard (4-1) and Minnesota-Duluth (3-2) in the Northeast Regional to reach the Frozen Four, falling to Quinnipiac, 3-2, in a semifinal game.

Talent Analysis

Demko is a goalie that plays with a calm and maturity rare for a goalie of his age. He relies on technique and positioning, using his large frame and good lateral mobility to make it a challenge for shooters to find holes. He plays an efficient game with little wasted movement. Demko underwent surgery for a hip condition prior to his junior season in college but has not shown any effects in terms of his mobility. He has displayed decent puck handling skills as well.

Future

Demko had an outstanding junior season at Boston College in 2015-16, recording 10 shutouts and signing an entry-level contract with the Canucks in April 2016, foregoing his final season of college eligibility. He will compete for a spot with Vancouver in training camp but barring any surprises will begin his professional career in the AHL in 2016-17. The second goalie taken in the 2014 NHL Draft, Demko has been viewed as a future NHL starter since his time in the USA National Team Development Program and his career trajectory has been consistent with those projections.

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