by Arch Ecker
When Slava Demin first arrived in Wenatchee at the beginning of last season, he was the youngest player on the team. Now, he’s set to come back as a second-year defenseman with his college plans secured, and focused on two things: growing his game, and winning.
After committing to Wenatchee last summer, Demin went on to participate in the Five Nations Tournament hosted in Frisco, TX in August. By Christmas, he had committed to play Division I college hockey in Denver beginning in the 2018-19 season. The 6’1”, 185 lb. Demin had a busy summer, and fielded multiple offers for the coming season but ultimately chose to return. “I think that the biggest reason for me coming back was the fact that I would get to play with guys that I built relationships with in a league that I feel I can develop in”, he admits. “I am also really excited to come back and learn under the great coaching staff that we have in Wenatchee that I feel will push me to become a better player and person. Lastly, I can’t not talk about coming back and getting to play in the Town Toyota Center in front of all the fans for one more year, it’s going to be a really fun year.”
As the summer winds down, Demin has the opportunity to once again compete on the international stage, having been selected to represent the USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Břeclav, CZE. “I think that it is obviously an honor whenever you get to represent your country, especially in international tournaments”, Demin said. “I believe we have a great chance to win a gold medal over in Europe.” Last year’s experience at the Five Nations event has helped him prepare. “Being selected to the Five Nations team last year helped me understand what it means to play for your county and now I get to do it again. I am looking forward to an amazing experience with a lot of great memories over there as well as making lifelong friendships with the other guys on the team.” Team USA begins pool play on August 7 against Sweden.
When he and his Wild teammates report to Wenatchee on August 21, he will arrive now as a veteran and a leader with high expectations for himself and his team. “As far as the team, I believe that our expectations should be as high as ever. Last year we proved that we can be the best team when we are on our game and that should be the standard for the future of the Wenatchee Wild.” He continues, “I think we will come into this season with a new, young roster that I think will excite the fans but also play hard and fast.” Turning the focus inward for a moment, he notes, “As far as my game is concerned, I am just looking to improve as a player and person. I think that I had a really good first year last year and now have the opportunity to player a bigger role on the team. I am just super excited to come back and see how much the team and I can improve over the course of next season.”
Season ticket packages are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825. Single game tickets and group packages will be available soon. Plans are also underway for select fan bus trips this season and will be announced soon.
The Wenatchee Wild are celebrating their tenth season in the Valley. Stay up to date with the team all year long on Facebook (facebook.com/wenatcheewildhockey), Twitter (@WenatcheeWild1), YouTube (Wen Wild), Snapchat (wwildhockey), Instagram (Wenatchee_wild), and on the team’s official website (wenatcheewildhockey.com). Listen to every game on KCSY – Sunny FM 93.9. Download our free “Wenatchee Wild” app for your iOS or Android device.