Draw of the West, plus style of play draws Cypress’ Demin to Denver
When Slava Demin was considering college choices, he followed one of the primary rules of real estate – location, location, location.
So the former Anaheim Jr. Ducks and Wildcats defenseman committed to play NCAA Division I college hockey at the University of Denver (NCHC) shortly before Christmas.
“First off, it’s in Colorado, close to home,” said Demin, a Cypress native. “I loved the campus and the coaches, and the way the team plays fits my style.”
In his first season of junior, Demin had 17 points through 33 games for the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League. He plans to enroll at Denver in 2018.
He said playing last season in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League elevated his game.
“I’m grateful for my time with the Jr. Ducks and the good coaches I had,” the 2000 birth year said. “Last year, I played for a good (16U) team and it was the first year in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League.
“It was fun to go into such a highly competitive league and play in different cities. It was a good year for my development.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Demin, who played three seasons with the Jr. Ducks as a Bantam and Midget 16U, is the tenth player with ties to the club to make a D-I commitment in the past two years.
His 16U AAA team won a CAHA state title in 2016, and his Bantam AAA team won state and district titles and went to the USA Hockey Youth Nationals in 2015.
Demin played for Team USA at the U17 Five Nations Tournament in August after participating in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Evaluation Camp last spring, an event that drew the top 48 prospects in the 2000 birth year.
Jr. Ducks director of player personnel Alex Kim, who coached Demin last season, said the defenseman has a diverse skill set that fits well with the college game.
“Slava skates very well and has very good hands,” Kim said. “Defensively, he has a very good stick. His upside is big.”
— Chris Bayee