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There is always plenty of debate about the success of some of the NHL’s southernmost franchise. With professional hockey having a more prominent role in the southern United States, also comes growth at the grassroots levels. Evidence of that growth comes through a number of recent NHL draft picks who were born in and grew up in non-traditional hockey markets. Southern California native Stanislav Demin (also known as Slava Demin) is part of that growth.
At 16, Demin moved from California to British Columbia to pursue his hockey dream. He has spent the last two seasons with the Wenatchee Wild of the BCHL. Demin put up nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points in 57 games with the Wild. He added two goals and five assists for seven points in 20 playoff games, helping the Wild to the BCHL Championship. Demin was named a league all-star for his efforts. He has also represented his country, playing four games with Team USA at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, and getting in a game with the US National Team Development Program. Demin is committed to the University of Denver for next season. The Portland Winterhawks own his WHL rights.
Stanislav Demin Scouting Report
Defense — shoots Left
Born April 4th, 2000 — Cypress, California
Height 6’2″ — Weight 190 lbs [188 cm/86 kg]
Demin’s strong two-way game is based around his solid skating. He has good speed in both directions and can reach that speed in just a few strides. His edgework and pivots are strong. This allows Demin to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. He has good agility, moving well laterally to stay in front of an opposing forward or walking the line to open up passing and shooting lanes. Demin has a long stride and a wide stance. This gives him the power to fight through checks, to be strong on the puck, and the balance to win battles along the boards and in front of the net.
As mentioned, Demin does a good job of walking the line to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone. He is poised with the puck, and has the vision and passing skills to start the transition, or to run a power play from the point. Its not clear if he is creative enough to be a high-end power play quarterback at the pro level, but he should at least be able to contribute to the second unit. Demin is strong on the puck and can skate the puck out of danger in his own end. He is not one to lead the rush, usually looking for the safe breakout play, but is not afraid to join the rush as a trailer.
Demin has a good point shot. He can score on a slap shot or one-timer. It is accurate and powerful, and he keeps things low and on net. Demin also has a tendency to slide down from the point and look for a wrist shot from the top of the circles or the slot. He has a strong wrister, and his release can fool goaltenders.
Demin is one of the best defenders in junior A hockey. He is very tough to beat one-on-one maintaining excellent gap control. He uses his strong skating and lateral agility to keep himself between his opponent and the net at all times. Demin has good positioning and is very effective at cutting down passing and shooting lanes. He is also physical. Demin will lay the body on forwards attacking his side of the ice, and is not afraid to battle in corners or in front of the net.
Projection and Comparison
Demin is headed for the NCAA next year, which will give him time to continue to round out his game and test himself against higher level competition. There are some questions about how well his offensive game will translate at the next level, but it is worth the gamble. His defensive game should translate and give him something to fall back on even if the offence does not follow. Demin plays a similar style to Alex Pietrangelo, however this is a style comparison only and not an indication of potential or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages of Demin that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 21: Slava Demin #2 of Team Leetch shoots the puck in the second period against Team Chelios during the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the KeyBank Center on September 21, 2017, in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)