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Development camp 2018: Demetrious Koumontzis is taking the scenic route

At the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, the Calgary Flames did something they’ve only done four times in the past decade: they drafted a player out of high school. In this case, the Flames selected Minnesota high schooler Demetrious Koumontzis from Edina with one of their three fourth round selections.

Koumontzis comes from a unique background, and has a unique path ahead of him as he aspires towards pro hockey and the NHL.

Koumontzis is a kid from a big Greek family, the fifth of six children (all boys) that all played hockey growing up. Like the other three high schoolers the Flames selected, Koumontzis is headed to college now that he’s been drafted. Unlike Mark Jankowski (Providence College), Tim Harrison (Colgate) and Mitchell Mattson (Michigan State), Koumontzis isn’t headed to a traditional hockey school.

Instead, the 18-year-old is headed to a different collegiate spot: he’s joining the Arizona State University Sun Devils. The unconventional choice is both a product of his rather windy path towards the NHL Draft, and a calculated bet on his chances in a very new hockey program.

“I was born in Pittsburgh,” said Koumontzis in between sessions at Flames development camp. “Then I moved down to Arizona and grew up there for about nine, ten years, and then decided to move up to Minnesota to develop more for hockey. Played there throughout my youth years with Edina. Then went back to Arizona to play a year of AAA and then suffered an injury. And then for my senior year came back to Edina, and now I’m going back to Arizona for college.”

The Sun Devils are entering their third year in the NCAA’s Division I, where they’re still an independent program without a home conference. The nature of the program represents a potential opportunity for Koumontzis, as they only have one NHL-drafted player in goaltender Joey Daccord (a 2015 pick by the Ottawa Senators).

“That new program kinda hit me and I fell in love with it, so I’m really excited to get down there and help build it to what I think it can be,” said Koumontzis, noting his excitement about the opportunity for a big role. “Obviously nothing’s guaranteed but you’ve gotta work for everything, but that’s the hope. Get there, be kinda a role player right away and developed that way and I think that can help me.”

Koumontzis is still a bit of a project, but there’s some reason for optimism. He was his team’s leading scorer in 2015-16 and only had his progression derailed by an injury. He’s headed to a program that went 8-21-5 last year and will be desperate to lean on any players that show offensive prowess. If Koumontzis can get his offense going early, he could be in for a big year (or two) with the Sun Devils.


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  • The GREAT WW

    With Maroon going to the Blues, Brouwer will be even harder to move….

    Conroy seemed interested in the Kassian/Brouwer trade, didn’t sound like he had thought of that trade before, so unfortunately he is not an avid FN reader….

    WW

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Brouwer isn’t going anywhere, it’s obvious. All the positive chatter about the top six, bottom six, D men, without dependable goaltending it means nothing.
    Poor goaltending will sag the sails of the most talented teams. I know I’m repeating myself, but BT has to address this glaring weakness.

      • Hockeysense9393

        Hey WW…what happens if the Flames start scoring by committee and it’s spread out some…are you gonna like anybody on this team? Do you like any 2-way players that play the “full” game of hockey as apposed to just racking up points?

        • The real brad treliving

          I remember when Bennett was playing with Backlund the great Walter White thought Bennett was the one doing the carrying. How did that theory work out?

    • Hockeysense9393

      About 3/4 of the league is looking for consistently good goaltending. All the FA’s this year were basically sign and hope deals. There is nothing out there that won’t cost a small mint…for what you are looking for. I think that BT is looking to hopefully just score more then the opposition. Can you think of a trade/signing that would be more valuable then a focused Smith and a backup (Rittich/Gillies) with yet another summer to get in gear?

      • Hockeysense9393

        Smith was very good until he got injured. Rittich was very good until he was thrown to the wolves. The team was fine in goal for the first half of the season? Who would the Flames bring in to top that approach, at least for the first few months? What would it cost trade and salary wise?

    • The Fall

      GG was so short sighed and scared to lose last season; he leaned on Smith too hard. The Flames need a plan to get Gillies 30 starts, and they need to stick to that plan.

    • Brian McGrattan's Salute

      What I’m wondering more than the goaltending situation this year, is what happens the year after? I seriously doubt Smith gets another year here, though I do think he’ll be good in net this season. But are we hoping that Rittich can be the starter next year? Gillies? Parsons is still a ways away, and he needs to get a full and consistent season under his belt. We could trade for a goalie next season, as we’ve lots of good prospects, but this is the question I’m curious about.

      • piscera.infada

        If you really don’t know what either Rittich or Gillies are, then that problem really becomes exacerbated. Frankly, I agree if the organization leaves it status quo for that reason. If you know neither of those guys can carry the mail in a backup role, then that informs your decision moving forward from Smith. If either of Rittich or Gillies can be (at least) a competent backup, that would likewise inform the decision.

        Now is the time to (at least attempt to) confirm.

      • The Fall

        Smith is 3 years younger than Lou, 2 years younger than Miller, 1 year younger than Anderson and the same age as Hank. He may have another couple transition years in him…

    • Redleader

      Imagine if Brouwer came back strong and had a good year this season . Maybe Hathaway etc too .maybe it was GG . Flames could be very hard to beat next season with All the young core that much stronger faster smarter in really excited.i like all these young players and prospects.going in the right direction.

  • buts

    Smith is an excellent tender and leader for the team but we need a solid backup that can play 25-30 games. Pickard or Sparks should be targeted from TO as they wouldn’t cost a lot. Gillies plays small, stays too deep and doesn’t challenge the shooter….not ready and needs time in the Ahl. Rittich is close but needs more time also in the Ahl. Parsons is injured all the time. We need a quality backup or we are hooped. I think BT knows this. Moves are still coming.

  • Garry T

    Treiliving must know that the Owners know that Brouwer is not very good and that we have incoming and youngsters coming up that are superior.
    I would tuck my tail between my legs, work myself up to the task and just
    get it over with by setting up a meeting to say I screwed up royally or the player got the contract and then just said, I am gonna get paid and for whatever reason decided not to or is incapable with regard to producing.
    With your permission I would like to work up a schedule to buy him out.

    Brouwer should be totally ashamed of himself and say look, here’s the deal
    you pay me one years salary prorated over the next three or whatever period you can agree upon and I will retire this summer. Being demoted to
    Stockton for the year which makes most sense could be the answer if he wants to be greedy. This guy must have been capable at some point. He certainly has showed zip to this point or people would not be riding him.
    Pride …. where is it.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Buyouts are bad business for the Flames with talks between the Flames and council presumably on again. Consider the spin an opponent of city money being used on the new area will put on the Flames for player buyouts and how it will impact the Marges and Sandus and other non-hockey fans who are city ratepayers. The shill will fuel their outrage when he describes how the Flames are paying millions of bucks to players who don’t even play for the club as a prime example of the reckless spending habit of the Flames and do you want your hard-earned tax dollars to be put in a position where the spendthrift Flames have a say on how they are being used? “Hell no!” shout the livid ratepayers.

    • The real brad treliving

      Why are so many people complaining about giving up draft picks for nhl assets, but so many are quick to give up a high end d prospect to dump salary?

      • dewtel

        You cannot give up on players too soon. That goes for Brouwer, Bennett, and Kylington. That said, there also comes a point in time when their contribution may not be enough. Fine line.
        The training camp with a new coaching staff should be real interesting, to say the least.