This season Collin Delia is part of the solution at goaltender for the Blackhawks. Moving forward in future seasons he could be the number one guy. The Blackhawks signaled that possibility Monday when they signed him to a contract extension.
Delia first caught the eye of the Blackhawks’ management last spring when he helped the IceHogs advance to the Western Conference Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs. He has followed that up with steady play this season since being called up December 17 when Corey Crawford went down with a concussion. Those efforts were enough to convince managment that Delia is worth investing in…investing $3 million dollars over the next three seasons.
“It’s nice to have that trust and belief between myself and the club and you know have that reciprocated,” said Delia to Eyewitness News. “I’m just very thankful and very grateful for the people that have helped me along the way, my peers and cohorts, coaches, the coaching staff in Rockford and it’s just a really exciting time for me and my family.”
Delia has made 12 appearances with the Blackhawks this season. His record is 6-2-3. His goals against average is 2.98 and his save percentage is an excellent .923. At the time of his promotion he was leading the American Hockey League in save percentage with the IceHogs.
Jeremy Colliton remembers how green Delia was early-on last season in Rockford, and Colliton knows how far Delia has come.
“His confidence has really come out. I think his first two games in Rockford he didn’t have that in Rockford as much. He believes in himself (now) and nothing seems to rattle him. The technical and athletic ability is there, but I think a lot of guys have it. It’s the extra, how do you survive when things go against you.”
Keep in mind Delia wasn’t even drafted, and just last season he started off in the ECHL with the Indy Fuel. He’s come a long way in a short span of time.
Is Delia amazed at how fast has career has taken off?
“I don’t know what to compare it to, so it’s kind of the first thing for me, the first experience,” said Delia. “I don’t know any other way but it’s definitely been a huge blessng in my life.”
It’s Delia’s desire to learn and willingess to be coached that should keep his career on the rise.
“I think for me it’s always been about progression and learning and everyday I look to do those two things,” says Delia. “I look to my teammates to help me do that and the coaching staff, so it’s always this growth mindset for myelf. How can I get better? How can I push myself every day to get better. I think I’ve been able to have a little bit of success so far because I have an open mind and I can learn from anybody.”