Former Anaheim Jr. Ducks and Orange County Hockey Club goaltender Collin Delia has been selected one of five finalists for college hockey’s prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award.
Delia, who is a junior at Merrimack College, was nominated for the award for the second consecutive season. He is the first player in Merrimack program history to be named a finalist for the honor, which is presented annually by the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundational (HHAF) to college hockey’s “finest citizen” for leadership in community service.
Delia is a civil engineering major also is a two-time Hockey East all-academic team pick.
“It’s important to use the resources given to us as college athletes to help others, spread the gratitude if you will,” Delia said. “Humility is important, too. College sports can be very egocentric.
“I wanted to break that barrier, reverse a precedent, let people know we’re not just jocks who play. Our platform is a great way to provide service, which is something I believe all of us are called to do as humans.”
Delia is involved with CRU and Athletes in Action and serves on the board of Merrimack’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
“I am passionate about student-athletes’ welfare. I want their experiences to be more fulfilling,” Delia said. “We raised more than $1,000 to buy toys and deliver them to Boston Children’s Hospital. We’ve had lip sync contests for charity. It’s not only student-athlete focused. We want to break down barriers with fans, other students and our community. We need to see more from people have that influence.”
His giving nature also has helped make a big difference in the life of a young boy named Lucas and his Boston-area family.
“I worked with a friend of mine who works with Make A Wish. I was introduced to Lucas, who has SCIDS (abnormalities in the immune system) and was born without five organs – stomach, large and small intenstine, liver and pancreas,” Delia said. “Doctors didn’t think he would live past two weeks. Here we are 4-5 years later. Last summer he had transplants for all five organs. He had never been able to eat other than through a tube. I try to visit him as many times a month as I can.”
Delia’s influence also has helped the Warriors on the ice, where they went 3-2-2 in the first seven games he played in the new year after overcoming a leg injury at the start of the season. He has allowed just 11 goals in that span and was recently selected Hockey East’s goaltender of the month after twice being picked the league’s defensive player of the week.
“When he’s healthy and gotten the nod, he’s been very good on the ice,” Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy said, adding that pales in comparison to what Delia is accomplishing off the ice.
“Collin is leaving an indelible mark on our program and our school.”
- Chris Bayee
Tag(s): Club News