It’s been a big summer for Demetrios Koumontzis. He was singled out positively by GM Brad Treliving at prospect camp. He got a shot with Team USA at the Summer Showcase. Even though that didn’t go as well as it could have, he immediately went to China and won the Renaissance Cup with Arizona State University.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment? He’s moved up four spots from last year in FlamesNation’s prospect ranking, clocking in at 15th on the list.
How did we get here?
Born in Pittsburgh to a very large, Greek family, Koumontzis was drafted straight out of high school in last year’s draft. Before not collecting a paycheck playing collegiate hockey, Koumontzis was a major player for Edina High School in the Minnesota High School League.
After being drafted with the 108th pick in the 2018 draft, he immediately went to one of the less prestigious hockey programs in the NCAA – ASU’s Sun Devils. There may be a lot more fanfare around them this season though, as they’re coming off a year where they were the first independent team to crack the NCAA’s Frozen Four in decades.
The Flames knew that some patience was going to be necessary with their tiny, fit, Greek prospect, and it appears that gamble may pay off one day.
Stats, numbers, and everything therein
One of the biggest reasons that the Sun Devils were able to do so well last year was because of the contributions they received from Koumontzis.
At first glance, those numbers may seem rather pedestrian. However, as FN’s Ryan Pike detailed in his article about Koumontzis’ freshman year, ASU chose to rely on scoring by committee, meaning that contextually Koumontzis played his part. Only seven players managed to score 20+ points for the Sun Devils, and only one player averaged more than one point per game. Suddenly, 20 points look much better.
Perhaps he would have had greater numbers if he had been more consistent on a game-by-game basis. 40% of his points last year came in two games (both four-point efforts), so you have to imagine everyone involved is hoping for more of those nights and less like the 24 games he was held off the scoresheet.
Those in the know
Arizona State head coach Greg Powers gave us his feelings about how he felt last year went for Koumontzis (spoiler alert: it’s good) and what he wants to see out of his next year:
“It was a tremendously productive season for Kono. Being a True Freshman and 18 years old is very difficult in college hockey playing against Men that in some cases are 24 years old. He developed at an incredible rate, handled a big role and had some great moments helping us win hockey games. He’s only going get better and better the longer he’s here.
“Just the details all young players do. He tends to try and complicate the game at time and make something out of nothing. A lot of that is his really high compete level but he has matured so much in just a year… we can see it coming.”
With the Flames being in a position where they can afford to let Koumontzis rip in the NCAA, it’s encouraging to see the importance he already has there going into his sophomore year.
On the horizon
It’ll be interesting to see what Koumontzis and the Sun Devils do as a follow-up to last year, especially after winning the Renaissance Cup. Ideally, both the player and the team are able to take that next step forward. It won’t be a direct causation, but Arizona State’s potential growth may end up mirroring Koumontzis. Not too shabby for a fourth round pick.
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