Merrimack College senior-to-be Collin Delia will forgo his senior season after inking an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. Delia, 23, attended Chicago’s prospect development camp last week and was also an attendee at Chicago’s camp last summer.
Delia will report to training camp with the Blackhawks in September, and will most likely be part of the team’s rookie team that heads to a prospect tournament in Traverse City.
“We’re very happy for Collin and wish him nothing but the best as he pursues his dream of playing in the NHL,” said head coach Mark Dennehy. “He embodied everything that a true Merrimack Warrior should be and we look forward to watching his career unfold.”
According to the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Delia has inked a two-year deal with the Blackhawks. Salary terms were not disclosed, but per the CBA, Delia’s entry-level contract can be for a maximum of $925,000 per season at the NHL level. All entry-level contracts are two-way deals, meaning the player receives a fraction of that NHL salary if playing in the AHL or below.
Signing bonuses can be included in ELCs, but it cannot be more than 10% of the salary ($92,500 if signed under a max deal). There are also two layers of performance bonuses that could be included as well, which is maxed out at $2.0 million under the CBA.
Delia posted a .927 save percentage and a 2.15 goals-against average last season. His .927 save percentage was tied for the best in Hockey East last season. Over three seasons, Delia appeared in 56 games, going 21-24-10 record in net to go along with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He ranks fifth in the Division I era in career wins and career GAA, while his 2.15 GAA and .927 save percentage figures that were both set last season are the second-best in single-season history since the program joined Division I.
The move leaves Merrimack with three goaltenders on its roster for the upcoming 2017-18 season, including juniors-to-be Drew Vogler and Craig Pantano along with incoming freshman Logan Halladay, who played for Bloomington in the USHL last season.
Three out of Merrimack’s last four starting goaltenders have gone on to sign NHL contracts, with Delia following in the footsteps of Joe Cannata (2012) and Rasmus Tirronen (2015).