Vancouver Canucks Frozen Four Watch: Demko, Boeser, and More

Apr 7, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; North Dakota Fighting Hawks forward Brock Boeser (16) celebrates after they score an empty net goal against the Denver Pioneers during the third period at the semifinals of the 2016 Frozen Four college ice hockey tournament at Amalie Arena. North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Denver Pioneers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; North Dakota Fighting Hawks forward Brock Boeser (16) celebrates after they score an empty net goal against the Denver Pioneers during the third period at the semifinals of the 2016 Frozen Four college ice hockey tournament at Amalie Arena. North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Denver Pioneers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Vancouver Canucks had more than one reason to watch the Frozen Four semifinals on Thursday.

Vancouver Canucks prospects were well represented at the Frozen Four semifinals that took place on Thursday. But only one got to smile at the end. The final goes this Saturday.

In a hard-fought loss to the Quinnipiac Bobcats, the Boston Eagles fell 3-2, Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko making 27 saves on 30 shots. I was able to catch the third period on the online stream, when the Eagles were down 3-1. As the Eagles were pushing for a comeback, Demko didn’t have too many saves to make.

But halfway through the period, Demko came up big with a great blocker save on a 4-on-1 situation. If I find a GIF out there, I will update the post with it. To make up for it, though, here is his save from a couple of weeks ago that went unnoticed.

Here is the game recap from the Boston College side of things. I have put together the Demko-related things right here.

"Quinnipiac took advantage of a slow roller behind the BC net that the defense couldn’t skip out. At 2:31 of the first period, the Bobcat’s Scott Davidson stole the puck and flicked it to Kevin McKernan in front of the net for the game’s first goal, one that slid through the five-hole…"

That was the first goal. The second goal looked like this.

"Less than five minutes later, the Bobcats responded again with another shot that found the back of the Eagles net. Following a BC turnover in their own zone, the puck swung out front and was capitalized on by Andrew Taverner, who beat Demko glove side to go up 2-0"

The last goal was a scramble off of a rebound in front of Demko. Not much worth mentioning there.

Now with the season over for Demko, GM Jim Benning — who watched the game in person — will sit down to talk with him and his agent about turning pro this summer. Expect him to play in Utica, where the Comets need a lot of netminding help (at least in my opinion). Here’s an update from Sportsnet:

Here are Demko’s stats to end the year.

One More Netminder on the Radar

On that note, the game had a little more Canucks to it than just Demko. Michael Garteig, the senior Quinnipiac netminder who stopped 34 of 36 Eagles shots, was an invitee to the Canucks development camp in 2014. Funny, because Demko was another goalie who made the camp after being drafted in the second round that past draft.

Garteig made this save with just seconds to go and stared Demko down at the end. What a glove for the Prince George native who played for the Penticton Vees? You bet he wants to come over and challenge the legacy of Roberto Luongo‘s glove!

You know what, watch this too. The glove is just surreal. On that note, Thatcher Demko is one of the three remaining finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker award.

With the Philadelphia Flyers signing netminder Alex Lyon, wonder if Jim Benning now turns his eyes to this BC-native netminder. With a 1.83 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage this season, wonder if he would like to come to Vancouver as a netminder for the Comets, battle out Demko for the spot?

Here are some more speculations:

More to come, I am sure.

Brock Boeser and a NoDak Trio?

Brock Boeser and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks managed to calm a third period Denver storm to advance to the Frozen Four finals by a score of 4-2. Boeser had two assists and was a plus-two on the night.

The first assist was a beauty.

But the story of the night was Drake Caggiula who had two goals and an assist. As previously mentioned, the Canucks are in pursuit for Drake’s services, perhaps looking to translate his chemistry with Boeser directly to the pro level.

Here’s from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and his 30 Thoughts:

"On the same broadcast, Billy Jaffe added the Canucks are pursuing UND free-agents Drake Caggiula (a forward) and Troy Stecher (a defenceman). Caggiula is hot property, with several suitors. Last week, I mentioned Ottawa and Philadelphia among them. The Senators are still very much a part of this, but a few sources indicated the Flyers may not be. Stecher, a local boy who attended Vancouver’s development camp in 2014, told reporters his father had season tickets to the Canucks and he “dreamed” of playing there."

So with Demko looking to sign soon, Boeser signings and other North Dakota signings will have to wait until after the championship on Saturday. Boeser will look to triumph over the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Demko’s behalf.

Troy Stecher did not fail to catch the scouts’ eyes. The Richmond-native defenceman was strong on puck pursuit while putting up one assist and a plus-three rating. Would love the Canucks to sign him to a pro contract as soon as the tournament is over.

Next: TCW's Picks: The Season Team Awards

Best case scenario? A NoDak trio coming to Vancouver or to Utica this summer. Would be a sublime work of art if Jim Benning manages to sign all three, Demko, and Garteig to pro contracts!

Final goes Saturday. Expect some rumblings throughout the weekend. Hey. Since when did Vancouver care about college hockey? It’s the Ben Hutton effect. More to come.