Tuesday morning Vancouver Hockey Now had the opportunity to ask the USA Hockey hierarchy about that country’s depth at the goaltender position for the Winter Olympics and the recent play of Vancouver Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko, the NHL’s first star of the week ending December 12th. Demko went 4-0-0 with a 1.20 goals-against average, .962 save percentage and one shut-out.
Demko has started 24 of his team’s 29 games this season and only seems to be improving as the season moves along.
Demko, Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and Anaheim Ducks stopper John Gibson would be the three most prominent names on the program’s list.
Team USA General Manager Bill Guerin and Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations John Vanbiesbrouck had the following to say about Demko. Guerin is the current general manager of the Minnesota Wild and “Beezer” was an NHL goalie for two decades.
“We have some great options, there are a lot of goaltenders out there, American goaltenders that are having great years,” Guerin said. “Thatcher is one of those guys that is having a great year and the last week he’s been fantastic, so we’re taking everybody into account, difficult decisions to be made at the end of the day, but they’re good decisions to have. Like you said, we’ve got a pretty deep pool of players and goalies in particular.”
“A lot of that stuff is ‘Captain Obvious” to me and they’re playing so well and they’re gonna make a hard decision for Billy and Chris and that’s what we want to have,” Beezer said. “We’re happy with the development of Thatcher, he came through our system and he’s been with us at the World Championships and things like that and we know Thatcher well. We want to have the hot hand and as you know, that’s what you need.”
Demko spent two years with the National Team Development Program and three years at Boston College. While there he was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2nd-round of the NHL Draft in the summer of 2014.
Demko has the hottest of hands at the moment. The Vancouver Canucks and USA Hockey both hope he continues to carry it.