Sophomore Koumontzis is a vital piece to ASU hockey's puzzle

The Scottsdale native has been a productive player for Sun Devil hockey since his arrival in Tempe

One doesn’t have to go far to find praise of both sophomore forward Demetrios Koumontzis’ play and character.

“He’s an unreal teammate, he’s a brother to everyone in that locker room,” senior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk said. “What I love most about Koumo on the ice is you won’t see a kid working harder every single shift. His goal is to never lose a puck battle, and I love that.”

Since joining ASU's hockey team last season, the 19 year old from Scottsdale has 24 points, 18 coming on assists.

But Koumontzis isn’t letting his success get to his head. His work ethic drives him in practice and pushes him to play hard in games. 

And he’s not satisfied with his current performance.

“Every day you can make improvements. Every time I’m on the ice I try to get better,” he said. “I think that’s the best way to look at it. Obviously this year I wanna be a little more on the producing side.”

But the number one priority is still winning. Head coach Greg Powers emphasized that Koumontzis needs to step up in ASU's matchup with No. 9 Quinnipiac this weekend.

“These are weekends that he needs to really show up and be a go-to guy for us if he wants to continue to take big steps forward,” Powers said. “But just his detail and his strength and his explosiveness, everything that comes with bringing in a true freshman over the course of a year and a half, he’s making big strides — mentally and physically.”

Those are promising words for the sophomore, who has continued to improve since his high school days in Minnesota. 

For Koumontzis, coming back to Arizona to play college hockey surrounded him with the right people.

He singled out one of those people, Powers, as an especially crucial influence on his development. 

Although the forward was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL draft, Koumontzis didn’t sign and instead decided to commit to ASU and play under Powers. 

He said he has zero regrets.

“From the day I met him, he just talked about building a tradition,” Koumontzis said. “That’s what I wanna do. Coming here and being a part of that is something so special, and something I will never take for granted.”

And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this weekend’s matchup is an important one for the 19 year old. That motivation goes back to how last season ended for ASU. 

“They kicked us out of the (NCAA) tournament last year. It was our first tournament ever,” he said. “So it’s definitely gonna be a big game for us. At the same time, it’s just another game. We get two points if we get a win. But this one will mean a little bit more.”

Whether Koumontzis and the Sun Devils get revenge or not, he knows what the ultimate goal is. 

“Get to the Frozen Four,” he said. “And win a national championship.”


Reach the reporter at cvanligt@asu.edu and follow @Connor_VL on Twitter. 

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