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Prospects Unlimited: Flames prospect Koumontzis' dedication pays dividends

Demetrios Koumontzis' refusal to go back on his word is beginning to pay dividends for the budding star.
Candice Ward/Calgary Flames

Candice Ward/Calgary Flames

There were offers from schools with more prestigious hockey programs, but Demetrios Koumontzis gave his word to his hometown school years before and would never go back on it.

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As a 15-year-old budding star in Scottsdale, he committed to Arizona State University and didn’t waver from that resolution despite leaving the desert to play at Edina High School in Minnesota before heading off to college. “I love being the underdog,” he said. “I love the fact I could come to a brand-new program and build it. All the other schools have their guys who built it, and I wanted to do that. I knew we could do something special.”

Koumontzis, Calgary’s fourth-round pick (108th overall) in 2018, has already had a hand in doing something special at ASU. The Sun Devils became a Div. I hockey program in 2016-17 and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time last season. Koumontzis is not only proud to be part of the success story, but he knows the lessons learned are key to his own development. “That’s how you get to the next level, and that’s my end goal,” he said. “Doing that will take me to the next step.”

Koumontzis, 19, received a confidence boost in the summer when he was invited to USA Hockey’s world junior showcase, a sign he’s on the radar for the WJC. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound left winger is known as a speedy and determined player. However, after a couple of summer camps with the Flames, he’s well aware there are plenty of things to work on to become an NHLer.

On top of the usual elements that young players must improve – such as physical development and their play away from the puck – Koumontzis wants to become a more consistent producer. He collected 20 points in 35 NCAA games as a freshman, but his production came in fits and spurts.

Another goal is to maintain his speed while driving with the puck. “Staying mentally strong and being consistent is such a big thing,” he said.“It’s what I’m working on.” – Randy Sportak

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