Thatcher Demko – Potential Calder Candidate?

Vancouver’s young goaltender, Thatcher Demko, has done nothing but impress thus far in this 2019-20 campaign. Through seven games Demko has posted a 5-2 record with a .931 SV% and looked extremely composed the whole time. If this continues, Demko will most likely go down as one of the best rookies this season.

Thatcher Demko diving to cover the puck | Photo Credit: clearwatertimes.com

The Season Thus Far

It’s very early to start making bold predictions – like Demko winning the Calder Trophy, however it’s undeniable that he’s surpassing expectations. Thatcher Demko has not just been winning, he’s been winning against very talented teams. The 23 year-old holds wins over both the St. Louis Blues (1st in Central division) and Nashville Predators (3rd in Central division). His first loss came on the road in New Jersey after allowing only one goal in 1-0 New Jersey shutout. His latest loss came after 34 shots in Winnipeg against a loaded offence of top forwards including Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele.

Unfortunately for Demko, starting Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been having some of the best games of his career. Markstrom has been making crucial saves and currently holds a career best .918 SV% through 12 games. Jacob Markstrom has been steadily improving throughout his NHL career should undeniably be the Canucks’ starting goalie. With this being said, Markstrom has taken time off during once so far and Demko looked remarkable in his absence. A Markstrom injury could push Demko into a starting role that could absolutely stick if he plays well.

Starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom | Photo Credit: NHL.com

Although a Markstrom injury could mean Thatcher Demko becomes Vancouver’s new go-to-guy between the pipes, there is a more likely option. Demko could potentially overtake the Swedish netminder organically. Even though he has not played as many games as Markstrom it is still quite impressive what Demko has done. Both goalies will have strong cases to be the starter if Vancouver can crack the postseason.

Other Calder Hopefuls

If Demko can expand his current statistics throughout a full season, he will be considered Calder worthy. Thatcher Demko has his work cut out for him – this year’s crop of rookies is quite strong. Calder-favourites Cale Makar, Kaapo Kakko and the brothers, Quinn Hughes and Jack Hughes are sure to be competing hard all year. If Demko can keep playing the way he is, Calder contention could be a real possibility.

Regardless of which goalie is in the number one lot come April, they will need to play great to be effective come playoff time.

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