Former Merrimack goaltender Collin Delia stopped all eight shots he faced in his first NHL preseason action Thursday night, helping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 6-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center.
Delia, who signed with the ‘Hawks in July, was still wearing his Merrimack mask. He played the final 20 minutes of the game in relief of Chicago starter Corey Crawford (30 saves). Chicago’s Brandon Saad had a hat trick in the game.
It’s likely that Delia will start the season in Chicago’s minor league system, with projected backup Anton Forsberg putting in a strong preseason start earlier this week; he’s the favorite to be Crawford’s backup. But clearly, Chicago’s management sees something in the 23-year-old Delia, signing him out of development camp this summer in a rare move so late in the offseason.
Delia is one of five goalies remaining at Blackhawks camp, along with Crawford, Forsbeg, 31-year-old journeyman Jeff Glass and Wouter Peeters, who is just 19 and will likely play in the USHL this season.
So, that leaves Delia, Glass and Forsberg battling for the backup spot behind Crawford, with the other two goalies likely to split time in the AHL.
— The Goalie Guild (@TheGoalieGuild) September 22, 2017