Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko now the odds-on Vezina Trophy frontrunner
By Mike Gould2 months ago
In the midst of a remarkable season for the Vancouver Canucks, star goaltender Thatcher Demko is starting to garner some legitimate Vezina Trophy consideration.
The Vezina is awarded annually to the top goaltender in the NHL and is voted upon by each of the league’s 32 general managers. No Canucks goaltender has ever won the award, although Roberto Luongo (2007 and 2011) and Kirk MacLean (1989 and 1992) were both named finalists twice.
Coming off a rough 2022–23 season for himself and his Canucks team, Demko had plenty of room for improvement in 2023–24 — and he’s managed to exceed expectations on all fronts. The 28-year-old goaltender currently has a 15–7–0 record to go along with three shutouts and a .923 save percentage in 22 games with the Canucks this year.
The Canucks are right in the thick of the race for the top seed in the Pacific Division, and in similar fashion, Demko is at the head of the pack in the latest Vezina odds from Betway.
Demko currently boasts the shortest Vezina odds of any NHL goaltender, at 4.50 (equivalent to 7/2 or +350). Following immediately behind, in order, are L.A.’s Cam Talbot (7.00), the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin (8.00), Vegas’ Adin Hill and Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck (both 9.00), and Dallas’ Jake Oettinger (10.00).
Now in his fourth season as the Canucks’ starting goaltender since Jacob Markstrom departed for Calgary in 2020, Demko is looking to earn Vezina votes for the second time in his career. He finished in a three-way tie with Ville Husso and Tristan Jarry for seventh in Vezina balloting after the 2021–22 season, with each goaltender receiving one single third-place vote.
The Canucks originally selected Demko in the second round (No. 36 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The San Diego, CA product spent three years at Boston College before turning pro in the Canucks organization in time for the 2016–17 season, which he spent entirely in the American Hockey League.
Since making his NHL debut in 2017–18, Demko has posted a 96–74–15 record, six shutouts, and a .912 save percentage in 190 career games over parts of seven seasons with the Canucks. He also appeared in four playoff contests with the team in 2020.
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