Prospect Profile: What Do the Blackhawks Have in Slava Demin?
By Michael Wagner
Slava Demin was the prospect acquired in the blockbuster Robin Lehner trade but who is Demin and what should Blackhawks fans know about the 19-year-old defenseman?
When the Chicago Blackhawks traded Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights there were mixed reactions from Blackhawks fans. Did they get a big-time prospect for him? Maybe a first-round pick? A player from their roster?
The final trade would be Lehner for a second-round pick, 26 yr old goaltender Malcolm Subban, and defensive prospect Slava Demin. A trade that was met with a chorus of “meh” and many fans calling for the head of GM Stan Bowman.
While I will let others comment on Bowman’s future and the overall return of the trade I want to focus on the prospect that the Blackhawks were able to acquire in Demin. Lauded as an offensive defenseman when he was drafted in the 4th round by the Golden Knights in 2018, 99th overall, his skill set has shifted since the American defenseman started attending the University of Denver.
In his two seasons with Denver, Demin has only tallied 23 points in his 71 total games but the Blackhawks have had a chance to watch Demin quite a bit considering his defensive teammate is Hawks prospect Ian Mitchell. Greg Cameron notes that Demin, a left shot has found his stride in his defensive play and isn’t afraid to take the body.
Demin plays a style of defense that the Blackhawks don’t have a plethora of, in that he takes his play in the defensive zone seriously and while he is a sophomore looks to be the type of player who will probably take his time developing in the NCAA. It appears as though the Blackhawks have gotten a solid player in Demin but he isn’t going to be someone whose numbers jump off the page but is a player who continues to solidify the Blackhawks defensive prospect pool.
From those that have seen Demin play it appears as though he has the tools to be a strong two-way defenseman but he is by no stretch, a home run for the Blackhawks. As he continues to work his way up the Denver line up and takes on more of the load we will get a better picture of what kind of player he looks to develop into.
Demin is part of an extremely strong team and his connection to Mitchell gives the appears that the Blackhawks scouts got a really good look at him. With that many viewings, it gives me hope that the scouting staff has found another great defensive piece to add to the solid defensive prospect pool the Blackhawks possess.