The Flames generally always pick high scoring yet slightly small players in every draft. It’s a promising well and they keep going back to it for the same reasons every year: it’s a higher percentage choice than most you can find in late rounds. Given the way some like Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Phillips have turned out, it’s not like they’ll stop taking those players.
Demetrios Koumontzis (KOO-moan-zees) was one of their selections that checked those boxes this previous draft. The Minnesota high schooler isn’t a big figure at 5’10” and 183 lbs, but the winger has been praised for his offensive skills and intelligence, making him a late round favourite of high school scouts.
Numbers and such
|GP||G||A||P||Primary points||5v5 points||5v5 primary points|
|Upper Midwest Elite High School League||21||16||33||49||35||43||33|
We’ll start with Koumontzis’ performances in Minnesota high school hockey. As a member of the powerhouse Edina High School hockey team (they scored 50 goals through their first six games and beat a team 20-0 once last year), Koumontzis was a regular contributor. He started the season off really hot, but cooled down before an explosive four-goal performance. From there, he gained a little bit more consistency, finishing the year with 20 points in his last 10 games.
Relative to his team, he was a middle of the road contributor. He finished four on the Hornets in scoring, 17 points behind the leader (although the leading scorer is 19 and was drafted last season). Koumontzis only contributed to 25.88% of AS goals, and 26.46% of 5v5 goals. Those numbers take a modest drop to 20.83% (AS) and 23.14% (5v5) when only considering primary contributions. They’re alright numbers, but not dominant.
Koumontzis saved his real damage for the UMHSEHL, where he finished as the top scorer in the high performance league. He averaged two points per game or above throughout the entire schedule and was only held off the scoresheet twice. Considering that the purpose of the league is to place all of the Mideast’s (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota) best high school hockey talent into one group, it’s pretty impressive that Koumontzis was the standout.
It’s interesting to note how Koumontzis’ role changed between the two competitions. With Edina, he was more of an all around goal scoring threat, potting 20 goals. However, he switched to more of a playmaking role in the Elite League, picking up more assists (33 vs 21) than goals (13 vs. 20). Notable is his seven-assist game, but he did pick up two or more assists in seven different games.
Accordingly, Koumontzis’ goal contribution stats were off the charts. With Team Northeast, Koumontzis was an absolute monster, contributing to 47.57% of AS goals and an absurd 50% of 5v5 goals. However, he was less of a primary playmaker in the UMHSEHL, with his numbers dropping to 33.98% (AS) and 38.37% (5v5). Still really good, though.
Of course the problem with assessing high school hockey prospects is that there’s no real barometer to measure performances. It’s hard to say which performances actually matter and which are telling of future stars in the making. According to eliteprospects, there were kids in the Minnesota High School leagues who scored three points per game and won’t even be heading to college. High school hockey is a weird beast and making predictions based off those performances is guesswork at best.
Even the UMHSEHL is a bit sketchy. It’s such a new league (started in 2016-17) that Koumontzis is, so far, the all-time league leader in points. Clearly, it’s still too early to see how exactly Elite League players develop and what impact the league has (if any) on player progression. It could mean a lot (Buffalo’s Casey Mittelstadt and the Islanders’ Kieffer Bellows played in the league and one is a pro while the other is on his way) or it could mean nothing at all.
Koumontzis lit up the high school leagues, which is all fine and good. Again, it’s impressive, but it’s not much to work with when projecting his future.
His first year at the upstart Arizona State hockey program will be very telling. There’s going to be a lot of struggles with that program (they won all of eight games last season), but Koumontzis has his chance to be a standout player. He’s likely a long-term project, but if he’s able to translate his high school offensive ability to the NCAA, he could be a diamond in the rough.
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