Goaltender Thatcher Demko of San Diego, Calif., watched with great interest the opening day of NHL free agency on Tuesday.
In particular, he wondered if the Vancouver Canucks had plans of adding another goaltender to their mix. After all, Demko, who will enter his sophomore year at Boston College in Hockey East in 2014-15, was selected by the Canucks in the second round (No. 36) of the recently completed 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 28.
He didn't need to wait too long when general manager Jim Benning announced in the morning the team had signed East Lansing, Mich., native Ryan Miller to a three-year contract.
Could Demko be ready to back up his fellow American in three years? Only time will tell, but Demko is certainly happy to see Miller in a Canucks' jersey.
"I'm pretty happy for the Canucks to sign a guy like Miller," Demko told NHL.com. "He's an American great and has plenty of experience. He was one of the American guys I liked to watch when I was in my early teens."
Miller has represented the United States at the past two Winter Olympics, being named tournament MVP, Olympic All-Star and best goalie by tournament directorate in leading the charge to a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and at three World Championships.
Demko, 18, will likely be in contention to earn a starting job for the United States at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26.
The 6-3, 190-pound Demko completed his freshman season at Boston College in 2013-14 with a 16-5-3 record, 2.24 GAA and .919 save percentage. He earned All Hockey East Rookie Team honors and Hockey East honorable mention, and helped the Eagles celebrate a Beanpot championship under the tutelage of veteran coach Jerry York.
Demko said at the draft he doesn't view playing for the Canucks as a pressure situation.
"There's no pressure; once I get there you'll probably feel it a little bit more with the Canucks fans and how passionate they are," Demko said. "It's a great hockey environment and different than California, so it's crazy. Hopefully I can appeal to the fans up there so they can love me instead of hate me."