As Canucks fans anxiously wait for Thatcher Demko’s decision on whether to turn pro or return to Boston College for his senior season, some other news came out today. Demko has been added to Team USA’s World Hockey Championship roster for next month in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
This is the first time that Demko will represent the United States at this level, previously wearing the red, white, and blue at the World Juniors in 2014 and 2015, as well as the U18 tournament in 2013. The San Diego native will join fellow Canucks, Markus Granlund (Finland), Jannik Hansen (Denmark), Yannick Weber (Switzerland), Jacob Markstrom (Sweden), Ben Hutton, and Chris Tanev (Canada) at the annual tournament that runs from May 6-22.
Demko had a fantastic season at Boston College posting a 27-8-4 record with 1.88 GAA, 0.935 SV%, and 10 shutouts. He was also the recipient of the Mike Richter Award, which is given to the best goaltender in Division I hockey in the NCAA.
It has become quite common for the US to bring a young goaltender to the World Championships with no intention of them seeing game action, so don’t expect to see the 20-year-old to play. Demko will get time in practicing and using it as a learning opportunity for possible future appearances.
Mike Condon of the Montreal Canadians and Keith Kinkaid of the New Jersey Devils are both over five years older than Demko, and are expected to see the net.
This isn’t a bad thing as many young American goalies in the NHL have gone through this experience and have benefitted greatly from it.
Regardless, this will be a great experience for the former 2nd round pick as he looks to eventually transition into a professional. Whether that is next season with the Utica Comets or the following season, time will only tell.