The Vancouver Canucks made a surprising move on Friday, calling up goaltending prospect Thatcher Demko from the Utica Comets.
With Jacob Markstrom playing his best hockey of the season, winning his last four starts, it would seem like an odd time to give Demko a look. But with the flu bug going through the team, it appears backup Anders Nilsson will have to sit out Saturday’s matinee game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
With Nilsson reported as sick – #Canucks have exercised Article 13.10m to recall Demko in emergency conditions
It does not burn their final recall but Demko has to go back (or use the final recall) once Nilsson is deemed fit to play pic.twitter.com/YN1yl39S7y
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 30, 2018
So Demko could come to town to sit on the bench, as he’s done before.
But not so fast.
According to News 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal, who always seems to have the inside source, Demko may indeed get his first-ever NHL start on Saturday.
Source : Do not be surprised if Demko starts against Columbus tomorrow.” #Canucks
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) March 30, 2018
If he does play, whether it be against the Blue Jackets or one of Vancouver’s remaining four games, Demko has certainly earned it.
The 21-year-old ranks eighth in the AHL with a .921 save percentage this season, appearing in 42 games, playing good hockey behind a not-so-good Utica Comets team. His backup, Richard Bachman, has just a .901 save percentage, by comparison.
Despite a depleted lineup, the Canucks are riding a hot streak of late, winning their last three games.