NHL Mock Draft 2014 : The Blackhawks select goalie Thatcher Demko

Dave Arnold/New England Hockey Journal

With the 27th pick in the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, the Blackhawks take the top rated goaltender, Thatcher Demko of the Boston College Eagles.

When you are selecting late in first round, like the Blackhawks are at 27, you don't necessarily look for need but rather the best player available.  Seeing the number one rated goaltender still on the board made for an easy decision in this spot.  I believe that goaltending in the NHL is exactly like pitching in baseball; you can never have too much of it.  With Corey Crawford signed for six more years, you can take you time in letting Thatcher Demko develop within your system and let him grow into the role of a starting NHL netminder.

Demko is coming off of one of the best seasons for a goalie in recent Hockey East history.  He posted better freshman numbers than both Hockey East alums Jimmy Howard and Cory Schneider.  Thatcher plays a very strong butterfly technique and uses his 6'4 frame to rarely give up anything in the top half of the net.  Demko is rarely caught out of position and cuts down the angles well, especially when he plays further out in his crease.  He moves extremely well going side to side for a bigger goalie.  He does need work on his stick handling and his glove hand (uh oh) was exposed a bit during the NCAA tournament.

Demko will not turn 19 until December so the Blackhawks will have nothing but time with him.  He has the ideal size for a professional goaltender which makes him hard to pass up at this pick.  He showed great confidence and poise winning the starting job, as a freshman, at one of the elite college programs.

Be sure to checkout the 2014 Mock Draft main page to track all the previous picks and the final three of the first round.

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