Canucks’ goalie prospect Demko is turning heads
Thatcher Demko hasn’t heard from the Vancouver Canucks during his impressive run to the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament.
And that suits the club’s secondround pick from 2014 just fine.
The goalie for the Boston College Eagles has put up some stunning numbers this season, compiling a 27-7-4 mark — including a schoolrecord 10 shutouts — to go along with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.
One of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in American college hockey, Demko says there has been radio silence with the Canucks all year.
“To be honest I haven’t talked to them,” the 20-year-old said in a phone interview this week. “I think they’re just letting me stay focused on what’s important right now. There’s not much else to it.”
Like all NCAA players, Demko remains unsigned, but did attend Vancouver’s development camp the last two summers.
Despite his success, it hasn’t all been a smooth ride for the San Diego native, who had hip surgery following the 2014-15 campaign.
“Obviously after you have a serious surgery like that there’s always some questions,” he said. “Once I got back on my feet and got my feet wet at the beginning of the season I felt really good.”
Demko will lead the Eagles against the Quinnipiac University Bobcats on Thursday in one of two national semifinals in Tampa, Fla., before attending the season’s Hobey Baker Award ceremony the following night.
“It’s been a great year for the whole team,” said Demko. “I’ve had a lot of fun.”
As the Canucks careen towards a second spring in three years without playoff hockey, fans have been looking for silver linings — one being Demko’s numbers with the Eagles.
Vancouver’s No. 1 goalie, Ryan Miller, will be almost 37 when his contract expires after next season, while backup Jacob Markstrom will be 10 years younger, but barring an extension, will also be eligible for unrestricted free agency.
One scenario could see Demko sign with the Canucks this summer, play a season in the AHL and then battle for an NHL job at training camp in 2017, but all he’s worried about right now is getting Boston College a sixth national title.
“I have my mind focused on this job and I think (Vancouver) is just giving me some respect in that regard,” said Demko, who could also return to the Eagles for his senior year if he remains unsigned. “I’m sure there will be discussions over the summer of what they want, what I want.”