I like Demers, but unfortunately McLellen seems to not like him and has totally screwed up his confidence and development.
I don't see how it could have been done on purpose. Demers still gets quite a bit of PP time, got loads of offensive zone starts, and still struggled this year. If you're gonna blame it by saying he was forced to play on the left side or he was forced to play with crappy partners then all I can say is that that's misplaced frustration. The choice to play Demers and Braun as a pairing came too late though.