Thatcher Demko, who has backstopped the US national under-18 team to several impressive performances against Division 1 college teams this year - including 2-2 ties against both Minnesota and UNH - committed to Boston College on Sunday, adding a blue-chip goaltending recruit to a pipeline that's expected to be incredibly stacked over the next few years.
Demko, a big goalie from San Diego, has been a standout for the NTDP this season, including some brilliant performances in exhibitions against Division I schools, including making 35 stops to earn a 2-2 tie against highly-ranked New Hampshire, and earlier this year, when he made 39 saves against the University of Minnesota to earn a 2-2 tie, including a couple saves with his shoulder popped out of its socket.
Demko is a late '95 birth date, meaning he isn't eligible for the NHL Draft until 2014, and is only a junior in high school. As of late October, he was planning to return to the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, where he played last year, for his senior season. There is also the possibility of Demko accelerating his studies to join the Eagles next season.
The Eagles already had a commitment from Cedar Rapids(USHL) goalie Chris Birdsall, considered one of the top '96-born goalies in the nation, who is expected to join BC in 2015-2016, either one or two years behind Demko. That's quite the duo sharing the net in Chestnut Hill.
Whenever he arrives, he'll be an asset for the Eagles. Demko is one of the best young goalies in the country; for Jerry York's golden touch on the recruiting trail to extend to San Diego, and to the USNTDP, is certainly another ominous sign for anyone looking to dethrone BC as kings of college hockey over the next few years.
It may well be in BC's best interest to hope for Demko to accelerate, as Parker Milner will be graduating after this season; while Brian Billett showed flashes of excellence in his brief stint as #1 last season, Demko seems like the real deal. A 2013 arrival would also mean Demko would be a junior by the time Birdsall arrives. That said, Demko is still very young, so York and the staff will surely be keeping a close eye on his development for the rest of the season.
In 19 games for the USNTDP team in the USHL this season, Demko has an 11-3 record with a 2.31 GAA and .904 SV%.