“With the 153rd pick in the 2007 NHL draft, the Phoenix Coyotes select goaltender, Scott Darling!”
It should be right here, where I say the rest is history – and it might be – but there was an awful lot that happened in the seven years of Scott Darling’s career before signing with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1st in 2014. So much that when the Hawks finally called in late June, his response was simple – “where do I sign?”
The 25 year old, 6’6”, 232 lbs goaltender was born less than thirty minutes from the city of Chicago. He grew up a Blackhawks fan – this city is his home – he’s one of the people. When he finally made his NHL debut on October 26th against the Ottawa Senators the pride he had was more than noticeable.
“I’m a huge Hawks fan! Been a Hawks fan my whole life. Just to be a part of the Organization that sparked my hockey interest… to finally be a part of it… it’s pretty amazing!” – Scott Darling
In a blink of an eye he went from looking down at the United Center ice, to looking up at the fans he’d stood and cheered with through numerous anthems – they now cheered HIM on. They now stood and screamed to get HIS blood pumping – it was only fitting that the emotions escaped him in the form of tears. Any athlete that’s ever dreamed of playing professional anything would have done the same thing – would’ve felt the same way. I saw him just as you did, bring his glove to his face to hide the tears –I couldn’t help but be proud of him – maybe even a little jealous. We all saw it, the real life moment – that’s the moment you knew Scott Darling was human.
It wasn’t an easy road for the hometown kid to make it to the big time. After being drafted in 2007, he has spent time in six different leagues, including the ECHL, SPHL, CHL, AHL and the University of Maine. In fact, he’s the only former SPHL player to make a start in the NHL. Overall, the time spent in those leagues paid off almost seven full years later – but boy are they paying off now.
In his four career NHL starts, he is 3-1 with a .943 SV% and a 1.74 GAA. Sure the sample size isn’t as large as a starting goaltender, but you can’t deny that you just looked twice at his save percentage. His numbers are elite, and he’s making himself known to not only his organization but also to the league while trying to crack one of the deepest organizations in the NHL. With men like Corey Crawford and Annti Rannta ahead of him on the depth charts, patience might be something you’d preach to Darling. Remind him often that his time will come… eventually.