Thatcher Demko is a goaltender from the USNTDP who will be taking his services to Boston College next season. The December 1995 birthdate makes Demko a 2014 NHL Draft eligible prospect. HP's Director of Scouting, Mark Edwards saw Demko recently in Sochi, Russia at the World U18 Championships. "I thought Thatcher played some solid hockey, early in the tournament his defenseman hung him out to dry a little bit giving up way too many odd man rushes. He bailed them out on more than one occasion. He is a big athletic kid who does a good job covering a lot of net, plenty of upside with Thatcher. I hope he gets plenty of playing time next season so scouts can follow his progress."
HP's Steve Fitzsimmons caught up with Thatcher and spoke to him about getting his start to hockey in San Diego and playing in the recent tournament in Russia.
The 2013 Under 18 World Championship begins on Thursday, April 18th from Sochi, Russia. You can view all the team rosters here. HockeyProspect.com Director of Scouting, Mark Edwards, will be in Sochi scouting the event and we will be updating this article as the tournament progresses.
Team USA has dominated the event recently and will attempt to defend their 2012 title.
TSN will broadcast the game between Canada and Sweden on April 23rd at 7:00 am (eastern) 4:00am (pacific). TSN will also broadcast a game daily in the quarter finals, semi finals and show both the Bronze and Gold medal games.
GROUP A - USA, Latvia, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic GROUP B Canada, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Switzerland
Standings and Schedule located here
Day 3 was a busy day with 4 games. Like most of the NHL teams scouts I jumped around the games a bit.
All Finland goaltender Saros does is stop pucks. I have several viewings of him and he continues to impress me. He has quick legs and recovers very well. He seems to anticipate the play well and is square to the shooter so often. Quick glove and several blocker saves on this one.
HockeyProspect.com's Melissa Perri caught up with the Mississauga Steelheads Damian Bourne after a recent game vs the Plymouth Whalers. The 1996 born prospect is eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.
January 3rd Quebec Vs. Sweden (U17 World Championship)
This game started out with Sweden controlling most of the play and Nylander was able to walk out to the slot on the power play for a nice shot right from the slot. Lindblom displayed some really nice hands to gain the offensive zone and move the puck around well. Engvail was reading the play to pick off a pass in the neutral zone and then rush the puck back in off the wing for a nice shot off the rush, and later Nylander had an excellent end-to-end rush where he took the puck all the way behind the opposition’s net and moved out front to Lindblom who opened the scoring of the game just under 8 minutes into this one.
On the power play Nylander made a great pass down low to an open man next to the net for a great one-timer chance on the power play, but that was the only chance they would get. Perron then put some excellent pressure and physicality on the fore-check to take the puck and move it out front to Ayotte who had a nice chance right in the slot and drew a penalty. On the power play Pepin walked right into the slot and took a great shot to snipe Quebec’s first goal of the game to tie this one up. Just a minute after that he got another chance from the exact same spot but the result was not the same this time. Nylander had his hands, agility and puck distribution on full display in the offensive zone with some great plays and was getting the puck out front to Lindblom for some really good chances. Audette was coming back for Quebec showing some really good speed off the wing to put some good shots on net and to get the puck into the offensive zone, as Leblanc took the puck from behind the net and made an excellent back-hand pass out front to Aube-Kubel who scored a nice goal to give Quebec the 2-1 lead in this one. Nylander responded by carrying the puck into the offensive zone with some really dazzling hands to dangle a defenseman and get in deep into the offensive zone with the puck, and then with just over a minute left in the period Engvail took a weak shot from the high slot with traffic in front that fooled the goaltender to tie up the game at 2-2 going in to the second period, and Audette was blocking shots in front of his own net to keep this one tied going in to the intermission.
January 4th Team USA Vs. Team Quebec
This game started out pretty slow and sloppy but as it went on USA started to pick up their game and was really controlling most of the play in the Quebec zone and pressing hard. Alex Tuch displayed some really nice hands to move the puck into the slot for a chance, and Sonny Milano had some nice moves as well to walk around the defender and make a nice centering pass to an open man in the slot and then drove the net hard looking for loose pucks and opportunities. Milano and Glover looked pretty good together on a few shifts as Glover would come up in the play and took a great drop pass from Milano for a nice opportunity on a shot from right in the slot. For Quebec, Audette was driving the puck really well wide and protecting it to cut in towards the net for a good chance on a real power forward move. Quebec went to the power play but was kept to the perimeter for the most part and couldn’t get their shots through the shot blocking of the United States. After the penalty Tuch had his speed, hands and agility on full display in the offensive zone, and Anders Bjork showed some really exceptional speed to blow by a defender off the wing to put a good shot on net short-side for another good chance for the States. Tuch and Hitchcock together had some chemistry as Tuch was able to spot Hitchcock in the slot for a nice chance, and Turgeon made it look easy as he just came right into the high slot for a good shot on net off the rush.
Midway through the first period Svechnikov displayed some great hands to rush the puck up the ice and beat defenders. Russia was putting on some great pressure on the fore-check and finishing their hits along the boards but it was Finland who opened the scoring as Atte Makinen drove the net hard and took a feed from Antti Kauppinen to score the game’s 1st goal. After this it was Pilipenko who showed some dazzling hands for Russia rushing the puck up the ice displaying some excellent moves off the rush to gain the offensive zone, and then a huge rebound opportunity for Lazarev as they were just pouring on the pressure in the Finnish zone. There were a few penalties towards the end of the period as each team took one within a minute of each other, Kapenen showing some great hands and puck distribution on the short Finnish power play and then Vovchenko made a great steal in the neutral zone putting some excellent pressure on the puck carrier to force the turnover and get a great chance on net with an excellent move on the goalie from in tight. Finally right at the end of the period with only 15 seconds left Svechnikov showed his incredible hands on the rush walking around the opposition finding lanes to rush the puck in to the offensive zone, taking the puck and made a great move on the goalie to tuck the puck five hole and tie the game up in the dying seconds of the period.
Right out of the gate of this game you could tell that one team was playing loose and the other playing very hesitant, as this game meant a lot more in the standings for team Pacific than it did for team West. They came out and looked very nervous and things didn’t seem to get better after a weird bounce that went off a defenders stick on a centering pass by team West to give them the lead less than a minute in to the game on a goal that was awarded to Kolten Olynek. Team Pacific slowly started to ease in to this game starting with a great rush by Ryan Gropp to drive wide showing some excellent hands and getting in to the slot for a great opportunity from in tight. Virtanen was driving the puck wide very well as well, and Point was showing some great hands and puck protection to skate the puck out of his own end and move it up to start the breakout. MacMaster was playing very well all game on, and early on he won a race to the puck and made a great pass to Sandhu who was driving down the middle to the net for a great chance. MacMaster was also displaying some excellent agility to twist away from the opposition and move the puck down low, and then was able to walk out from behind the net to put a good shot on from in tight. Riley Stadel was jumping up on the attack to keep the play alive in the offensive zone making some good decisions on when to pinch. Finally as the period came to a close Josh Thrower put a great shot on from the point with some good traffic in front on the power play to tie the game up with under 3 minutes to go in the period.
In what looked like a very even match-up on paper, Sweden jumped out to a big lead early on in this game. August Gunnarsson banged home a rebound just over two minutes into the period to give Sweden the lead. After pressuring heavily in the Russian zone Adrian Kempe tapped home the 2-0 marker, then exactly one minute later Anton Karlsson who has been having a great tournament used his excellent hands to gain control of the puck and score to make it 3-0 Sweden after the first period. Both teams had their chances in this frame and shots were 17-12.