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Thatcher Demko | #35 | G

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Good pick, this is a guy who I would have been alright with higher in the draft.

Love those question responses, clever guy.

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Hmmm, how to add some excitement to our defensive prospects?

Guess the goalie is the best penalty killer, they say...

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Too bad Lemieux didn't fall to us. Figured they'd take Demko when Lemieux wasn't available.

Too bad for Markstrom. His NHL future is unsound.

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How in the hell does Calgary not pick him up though? Weird.

Calgary picked a goalie playing in the CHL, which means he'll take less time to develop and play pro than Demko which hopefully means Calgary rushes him and ruins him and we get Corey Schneider 2.0 ;)

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Solid pick, hes years away, a well managed team cant be too deep in goalie, this insulates our goaltending future I like it

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"I prefer not to see goal celebrations"

Ha this guy's awesome, "Any move that doesn't score" such epic questionnaire answers

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Good to know we have a top goalie prospect in the pipes. Eriksson is 23 so in 5-6 years, Demko should be the guy!

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Guest Dasein

How is his puck handling?

Obviously the #1 factor in rating a goaltender is his ability to stop the puck, but more I think about it, it's such a big advantage to have a goaltender that can handle the puck well.

You look at Carey Price in MTL - Tokarski played great and perhaps he made all the stops that Carey would have made, but Carey might have won the series just because he is a great puck handler. NYR, with their speed, was able to kill the Canadiens on dump and chases, but if Carey was in net, he would have retrieved those pucks and found his dmen. That means just because of Carey's puck handling, NYR would have to change their game plan, which utilizes their strength (speed to retrieve pucks in corners), and instead be forced to carry the puck in. That would result in less offensive zone time = less chances at net for NYR and also more puck possession for MTL = more chances at net for MTL.

Same with NJD with Brodeur and Schneider. Schneider is clearly the better goaltender at this point in their careers, but NJD played better with Brodeur in net for quite a few of the games. I truly believe this has largely to do with Marty's ability to handle the puck which eliminates a few of the chances for the other team, while Schneider doesn't handle the puck - so it leads to more chances on Schneider = more goals sometimes.

I also think that was the big difference between Luongo and Brodeur in their heydays, and why Luongo could never quite catch up to Marty. I think Luongo was a better puckstopper for a few seasons there (particularly 2006-2007), but his inability to handle the puck made him not as effective as Marty as a goaltender.

I never saw Demko play so I was wondering how his puck handling was.

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After being selected 36th overall by the Vancouver Canucks Saturday, goalie Thatcher Demko speaks with reporters at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia.

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CanucksTV Host Joey Kenward has goaltender Thatcher Demko introduce his family from San Diego after he was drafted 36th overall by Vancouver in the 2014 NHL Draft

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How is his puck handling?

Found a scouting report:

TLDR; He is good at handling the puck

Thatcher Demko is already 6’4″ meaning that he has ideal size that NHL teams look for in their goalie prospects. This size, combined with his ability to cut down angles well gives shooters very little to look at when they come in on him. Demko skates well, meaning he recovers quickly and stays with shooters if they try to deke. He also has a strong push giving him very good lateral movement and his puck tracking ability is very solid. He understands where the play is going, anticipates well, and gets acros the crease quickly for cross-ice passes and one-timers.

Demko plays a butterfly style and is extremely hard to beat down low due to his long and quick legs. He is so big that even when he does go down he can still take up a lot of the upper portion of the net. He does need some work on his rebound control. He is very good at staying square to the puck, even when does given up rebounds thought, and this usually puts him in good position for those second chance opportunities. He also has a quick glove hand.

Demko handles the puck well, another aspect that many teams like in a modern goaltender. He helps his defencemen by being able to retrieve dump-ins and make smart outlets. On the powerplay he can catch the other team on a line change with a long pass to a forward.

Demko’s style is reminiscent of Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils. This is a style comparison and not a talent one. In terms of potential, he will need time to develop, like almost all young goalies, but Demko is the best goaltender in this draft, and its by a considerable margin too. He has the potential to be a #1 Franchise NHL goalie.

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he still has to get 2 surgeries on his hips, but he's planning on playing all of next season before getting it... that's why Calgary didn't take him and he was available. honestly, i wasn't expecting any goalies to be picked until late second to mid third, but i guess calgary snapping one up triggered the goalie frenzy. I'm not that excited about it, but it's not like it was a bad pick. goalies are just so easy to acquire in today's NHL, drafting one seems a little pointless, but it's not like there was a lot of superior talent or sure things available, it pretty much leveled off so no biggie. hopefully he meets/exceeds expectations.

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Too bad Lemieux didn't fall to us. Figured they'd take Demko when Lemieux wasn't available.

Too bad for Markstrom. His NHL future is unsound.

I don't see any problem with this for Lack or Markstrom. Demko won't be playing pro for a few years and that's plenty of time for Markstrom to show he's worthwhile and even for one or the other to emerge as a bonafide starter for us. The other we can move, hopefully with both competing for starting spots, and then Demko might be ready to step in.

If anything, it's Eriksson that should be worried, as he'll have a tough time in the near future beating out either of Lack or Markstrom, and he'll soon enough have Demko to contend with as well.

Calgary picked a goalie playing in the CHL, which means he'll take less time to develop and play pro than Demko which hopefully means Calgary rushes him and ruins him and we get Corey Schneider 2.0 ;)

With Demko already in the NCAA, he might play less games but he'll play against older competition. He may actually advance faster with only having to adjust to a higher workload as he turns pro.

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Get to know Demko:

BOSTON -- Thatcher Demko had to wait-and-watch plenty during his freshman season at Chestnut Hill. It began when Demko, as 17-year-old, showed up to Boston College the youngest player in college hockey, but a spectator to junior Brian Billett.

Then, as Demko began to settle into a more prominent role, he traveled to Malamo, Sweden for the World Junior Championships to represent Team USA, only to watch Hockey East rival and Providence goalie Jon Gillies do all the heavy lifting at the tournament.

So as Demko listened to 30 names get called Friday night during Round 1 of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, despite being projected by some be taken in that range, it really wasn't anything new for the California native.

What Demko did prove when Jerry York finally anointed him the Eagles starter was that he was well worth the wait, as after he celebrated his 18 birthday in early December, he was lights out through the Eagles' run to the Frozen Four.

Now the Canucks are hoping this latest waiting game pays off in the future for Vancouver.

"It's really nerve racking, and you're just hoping someone calls you, and you don't know what to expect," said Demko after being selected No. 36 overall. "You can't get upset about it or anything like that."

At 6'3, Demko uses his bigger frame to really make shooting angles and attempts much more difficult for his opponents. He reads the game incredibly well, and his positioning is ahead of most other goalies his age. Combine his height, instinct, and steady lateral movement, and you get a rare blend of skills that keep Demko from flopping around in the crease. He rarely makes the dramatic save because he's always square to the shooter, and in position to make a play on the puck.

"My size is a tool, but I don't like to rely on it. I can use it, but I can still react to pucks and play athletic," said Demko. "It's something I'm still working on, but is probably one of the biggest pieces to my game."

Had he played a fuller schedule, and Demko likely would have been in the conversation for many more awards come the end of his rookie season. In 24 appearances, he posted a 16-5-3 record for Boston College, with a 2.24 GAA and a .919 sv%. More impressive, Demko's numbers when playing against league opponents were even higher, as he sported a 9-1-1 record with a 1.35 GAA and a .948 sv%. Both of his shutouts also came against Hockey East foes.

Simply put, when the stakes were raised, it did nothing to deter the green Demko.

"It's just part of the goaltending position," said Demko. "You have to play in pressure, and that's kind of just the nature of it."

There was the 2014 Beanpot, a tournament that brings together four local rivalsBoston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and Harvardto play in the Bruins TD Garden ever year. In two victories over Boston University and Northeastern en route to the championship, Demko stopped 56 of 58 shots, including a masterful 29 save performance in the championship game against the Huskies.

Demko flew a bit under the radar through it all, as Boston College was buoyed by its offense, and 2014 Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau. But quietly, Demko became a stalwart for York's Eagles, including running off a 19 game unbeaten streak during which Demko won 17 games, and tied two.

A product of the United States National Development Team, Demko spent the year prior to his freshman campaign in Ann Arbor, playing with the nation's other top players. Competing against some college and other programs, Demko went 15-3 with a 2.21 GAA.

The Canucks are no strangers to goalies who have played at Kelley Rink, as Vancouver selected Cory Schneider out of Boston College back in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft with the 26th overall pick.

"It's a great hockey environment, a little bit different than California," said Demko, who added he can thrive in the pressure that Vancouver creates. "Hopefully I can appeal to the fans up there and make them love me instead of hate me."

Demko will return to another talented Boston College team that features two incoming freshmen (Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch) who were taken in that first round on Friday. BC returns seven other players who are property of NHL teams. And with that environment saturated with talent, and Demko not turning 19 until a few months into his sophomore season, he'll continue to develop with another year under York.

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