Editors Note Update: Upon the passing of the August 15the deadline, it was noted by CapFriendly that Demetrios Koumontzis did not in fact come off the Flames reserve list and still remains. The reason for this is still unknown, but is most likely due to the murky waters of the CBA around college elegibility. Due to the COVID-19 shortened season, there is something mysterious that happened that allowed him to remain on the reserve list. Unfortunately for the organization they didn’t make it out unscathed as Josh Nodler, who was not noted as being on teh must-sign list, was taken off the teams’ reserve list. We apologize for any confusion that may arose.
Today is another milestone in the NHL offseason calendar, as August 15 marks the deadline for which drafted College players are eligible to be signed by the team that drafted them or become free agents.
It’s not a major one for most NHL teams, but history has shown that this deadline has had significant impacts on eventual NHL stars. The CBA lays it out clear as day when it comes to this timeline:
“If a Player drafted at age 18 or 19 is a bona fide college student at the time of his selection in the Entry Draft, or becomes a bona fide college student prior to the first June 1 following his selection in the Entry Draft, and remains a bona fide college student through the graduation of his college class, his drafting Club shall retain the exclusive right of negotiation for his services through and including the August 15 following the graduation of his college class. The Club need not make a Bona Fide Offer to such Player to retain such rights.”CBA Section 8.6 c (i)
As alluded to above, the Calgary Flames have had this deadline hiding in the background impacting the potential decision of a few college free agents like Brandon Hickey and Adam Fox. They also have made some solid moves around this time, and could also make another signing in the coming days. This time around unfortunately, they are set to lose another prospect on their reserve list at 5:00 PM EDT today: Demetrios Koumontzis.
Demetrios Koumontzis Player Profile
Drafted in the fourth round, 108th overall, in the 2018 NHL draft, Koumontzis has had quite the interesting path before and during his time with the Flames organization.
The undersized left winger played in three different organizations and programs in his draft eligible season: the USHS, UMHSEHL, and the USHL. Over that time he had 90 points in 46 games which is worth the gamble as a fourth-round pick.
He would sign with Arizona State University the following season in the NCAA and play his next five seasons with the team, including last year where he finished the year by signing with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.
During his time as ASU, his production slowly tapered off where he started with 20 points in 35 games, eventually going to just 23 games and 11 points in 2021–22. Last season was even more perplexing as the team ended up playing Koumontzis as a defencemen, where he saw an increase in both points and games played in his new position.
You don’t see a lot of players make that transition late into their career, with Brent Burns being the most successful. Safe to say that Koumontzis wasn’t turning many heads at the NCAA level, although did have somewhat of a successful stint in the ECHL to close out last season.
Will Koumontzis sign?
Whether he is playing as a winger or a defenseman, Koumontzis has fallen down the depth chart to a place that he most likely cannot return from. If he hasn’t been signed this close to the deadline, the chances of him inking a deal are slim.
Koumontzis hasn’t been a focal point of the club the last few seasons, which is a shame as he initially showed some promise in his first development camp with the team. Sometimes draft picks just don’t work out.
Luckily for the Flames, there wasn’t a future Hall of Famer taken immediately after Koumontzis was drafted in 2018. In fact, the player with the most games played and points drafted at any point after Koumontzis is the newest member of the franchise: Yegor Sharangovich.
The Flames have started making it a habit of not signing their drafted players, and letting them walk for nothing. Here’s to hoping that Koumontzis is one of the last for a bit, barring any last minute change of heart from the organization.