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2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #26 -- Thatcher Demko

A strapping young goaltender with quickness, solid positioning and a year of NCAA experience already under his belt is next up in our draft previews.

Bruce Bennett

Thatcher Demko

Position: G
Current Team: Boston College, NCAA
Date of Birth: December 8, 1995
Place of Birth: San Diego, California, USA
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 192 lbs
Catches: Left

Now for a little something different.  How about a big goaltender with range, quickness and all of the great hockey tradition of . . . wait for it . . . San Diego, California.   Yep, Thatcher Demko (a great name for a net-minder) hails from The Golden State, and seems intent upon making a Pacific Ocean-sized splash when he gets his shot at the big time.

Demko was the clear #1 North American goalie in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings, and the following aptly summarizes why:

He was so far ahead of the under-aged players last year that if he was draft-eligible in 2013 he would probably have been drafted high; that's how far he was ahead then and is now. . . . He's a huge, strong goalie with excellent net coverage.  He has that NHL presence in the net.  He's more of a positional style-goalie that relies on his angles and size and he plays big in his stance.  . . . When he drops in the butterfly he gets his body in front of a lot of shots.  He's smart at reading the play and gets set quickly; strength is definitely not an issue with him.  -- Al Jensen, NHL Central Scouting

Jensen specializes in evaluating goaltending talent, so he knows something of what he speaks.  That's awfully lofty praise  for a kid who was the youngest net minder in the NCAA last year, yet still notched a very tasty 2.24 GAA and .919 save percentage in 24 games for B.C.

Demko is a butterfly-style goalie, who brings the best of both worlds -- the ability to take away the low shot via the butterfly, and the positioning and size to loom large in the net, even when in the 'fly.  With a number of teams desperate for help in the blue paint, look for Demko to possibly rise in the rankings if most of the prime forward talent goes ear

A Good Fit in Columbus?

Probably not, given Bobrovsky's age, and a string of young talent in the pipeline.  It likely depends on who else is available at the #16 slot -- assuming Columbus stays there -- and how the organization feels about its depth in net.  A "draft & trade" would not be out of the question if a goalie-starved team has some assets the club covets.  So, while Demko might be tempting, I'm predicting a pass in Columbus.

Demko in Action