T hatcher Demko made quite an impression during his brief-but-spectacular playoff run, but the 24-year-old San Diego native has been impressing us here at InGoal for a while.
Ever since he was picked by the Vancouver Canucks in the second round, 36th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft, we’ve enjoyed and appreciated the glimpses Demko kindly shared into his mindset and approach, and how they’ve evolved over the six seasons since. So, when he went on his recent playoff heater for the Canucks, it was the perfect time to revisit some of those lessons he’d shared about the importance of letting go in big-game preparations.
Demko was near perfect in that late-series appearance against the Vegas Golden Knights, but his .984 save percentage in those three games still wasn’t enough to extend the Canucks season and give us time to share more of his insights into the position while he was still playing.
That does not, however, mean those lessons aren’t still worth sharing now.
In fact, with Demko’s playoff run making it easier for the Canucks to let two-time team MVP Jacob Markstrom leave in free agency rather than risk losing Demko to Seattle in next season’s Expansion Draft, and another big step in his career arc coming next season, now may be the perfect time to revisit the idea of keeping a notebook, or journal, as a young goalie.
Demko did, and while it was used to make notes while watching NHL goalies play as a kid, it turns out he also wrote some prophetic career goals in it. Of course, as Demko pointed out in an extensive podcast interview last season, just writing down goals isn’t enough:
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