After a few difficult seasons, it seems that the future is little bit brighter for the Vancouver Canucks. Good scouting and recruitment have allowed the Canucks to add youth and talent to their lineup. The likes of Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Quinn Hughes all show great promise and the potential to become the key pieces in a competitive and performant Canucks team.
Amongst these highly rated youngsters, one player has flown under the radar for a while now but may yet become another key member of the Canucks down the line. 23 year old netminder Thatcher Demko seems to have what it takes to become a good if not great starting goaltender in the NHL.
Demko was selected early in the second round of the 2014 NHL entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks after a successful freshman season at Boston College. Over the course of his University Hockey career, San Diego, California native has amassed 62 wins, 26 losses and 10n overtime losses with a goals against average 2.08 and a .928 save percentage.
His career then took him to Utica where he would find immediate success. Demko has a 55-36-5 record in the AHL. In 2017-18, he made his NHL debut and despite allowing 4 goals, he obtained the win. So far in his young NHL career, Demko has a winning record of 10-5-2. As a matter of fact, he has had winning records in every single season of competitive hockey he has played since 2011, often recording at least twice as many wins as losses. Whether it be in the USHL, the NCAA, the AHL or the NHL, Demko always seems to find a way to win.
After 8 appearances so far this season Thatcher Demko has 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 loss in extra time. It is his best record so far in his NHL carer after occasional appearances during the last two seasons. Demko has a GAA of 2.50 and a SV% of .916, some great stats for one who is after all still considered a rookie goaltender in the NHL.
The American goaltender is praised for his puck tracking abilities and his proficiency at using his size to cover angles. Jacob Markstrom is still officially the number 1 goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks, but he has failed to establish himself as a perennial starter in the NHL at 29 years of age. Demko's development should in no means be rushed, but he may take the starting role as his own sooner than later.