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Demers Shares Next Step of His Career, Funny Sharks Stories + 2024 Draft Preview



Jason Demers joins the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast!

Before we get to Demers (30:34), Keegan and Sheng give a too-early preview of the 2024 Draft. What trends and prospects should San Jose Sharks fans be keeping a closer eye on?

We start at the top of the Draft with Macklin Celebrini, Cole Eiserman, and Ivan Demidov (3:15)? Why might Eiserman drop? Sheng shares what he’s heard about Demidov (8:10). Could Demidov stay longer in the KHL (10:55)?

Sheng also shares what he’s heard about the Sharks’ new Russian-area scout Igor Eronko (11:35).

Keegan spies a couple Draft trends at the moment, that there aren’t a lot of centers at the top of this Draft (15:10), but there are a lot of defensemen (16:20).

He talks about top winger prospects Konsta Helenius, Tanner Howe, and Maxim Masse. Then he shares insight about top defensemen prospects Artyom Levshunov, Aron Kiviharju, Cole Hutson, Adam Jiricek, Zayne Parekh, Sam Dickinson, Carter Yakemchuk, Henry Mews, and Zeev Buium.

Which defenseman might vault into the top-three (23:38)?

Also, where would Will Smith go in this Draft (27:40)?

Now, Jason Demers (30:34)!

Demers says that he’s “right on the edge of retirement” (31:18).

He says that he might do TV work with NHL Network and NBC Sharks.

Demers, picked in the seventh round of the 2008 Draft, tells us which San Jose Sharks scout advocated for him (34:48) and a funny Draft day story of mistaken identity. He says the New York Rangers and Nashville Predators were looking hard at him too.

He recalls that Tim Burke “liked to rag” on the QMJHL, where Demers came from (40:30). He thinks Burke is misunderstood.

Demers went from getting drafted in 2008 to a full-time role with the Sharks in 2010, and he shares the names of all the guys who made his transition to the NHL so smooth (41:36).

He thinks he probably “annoyed the crap” out of the Sharks veterans at the time, and was told to “zip it” a lot, because he was always upbeat and talking, even as a rookie. He elaborates on the incorrect perception that he took things too lightly as a young player, and shares that being a chatterbox was a coping mechanism for his anxiety (47:50).

“It was a great room to be in, but…it wasn’t an easy one,” he said of the San Jose Sharks locker room then. “To lose two games in a row, it was like armageddon in the locker room.”

Demers talks about the duality of Joe Thornton in the room, but ultimately, how much he loved Jumbo (52:39).

He talks about how things were different back then, players would go out and drink a little the night before a game.

Demers shares why he thinks the Sharks couldn’t get over the hump in the 2010 and 2011 Western Conference Finals (58:45). He reveals some of the injuries and challenges that those teams faced.

Then, in 2012, the Sharks couldn’t get out of the first round, Demers thinks that perhaps the front office “overhauled too much” of the roster (1:03:06).

This leads to Demers’s last full season with the Sharks in 2013-14 and the Reverse Sweep (1:05:09). He recalls Raffi Torres’s early impact on that first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings, but then Torres got hurt. He recounts the course of the series, from Game One to Seven.

Demers remembered, when the Sharks went up 3-0: “A lot of the guys in LA that knew the guys in San Jose were texting with them, being like just finish us, we want to go home.”

He also shares that Kings head coach Darryl Sutter called Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart after San Jose went up 3-0. Were there some mind games going on (1:12:06)?

Was there a moment when Demers really felt the series was slipping away (1:13:54)?

That off-season, Thornton was stripped of his captaincy. Demers and the Sharks room all thought that Jumbo was scapegoated (1:15:10).

Demers says he might be to blame for his “Daddy” nickname (1:17:06).

Demers shares the behind the scenes of the infamous and hilarious 2014 Sharks’ “Holiday Sweater” Christmas music video (1:18:45). He says John Scott got too much airtime, that it was something of a cursed video, and why Joe Thornton and other Sharks stars didn’t appear in it.

Demers remembers his “Holiday Sweater” rap verse (1:20:44)!

What was the secret door knock for Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s hotel room door (1:25:15)? Demers thinks it changed every road trip.

Finally, Demers, who spent most of last season in the AHL, talks about how special a moment it was to play his 700th NHL game last year at SAP Center (1:28:43). He joked that his entire minor league salary went toward flying friends and family in.

He also talked about playing against the San Jose Barracuda last year and why Ozzy Wiesblatt annoyed him (1:33:38).

“I tried to kill him every game, I got him a couple times,” Demers laughed.

Demers closes with more thoughts about his 700th game, and its significance to him (1:37:50).

Listen to the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast — it’s a new link — on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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