Dell agrees to terms with Colorado Eagles

As expected, Aaron Dell has agreed to a pro contract, giving up his final year of eligibility.

Dell will sign with the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL and is hoping to land an NHL training camp invite, according to the school.

UND’s goaltenders will be junior transfer Clarke Saunders, freshman Zane Gothberg and senior walk-on Tate Maris.

It has been expected since April that Dell would turn pro, though his destination was unknown. Dell attended the development camp of the Montreal Canadiens earlier this summer.

Dell is the second player to sign early this offseason from UND, joining Brock Nelson (New York Islanders).

Early signings in the WCHA (13)

North Dakota (2)
Brock Nelson, soph, f, New York Islanders
Aaron Dell, jr, g, Colorado Eagles (ECHL)

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (3)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, soph, f, Minnesota Wild
Beau Bennett, soph, f, Pittsburgh Penguins

Minnesota-Duluth (1)
J.T. Brown, soph, f, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nebraska-Omaha (2)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks
Jayson Megna, fr, f, Pittsburgh Penguins

St. Cloud State (2)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames
Mike Lee, jr, g, Phoenix Coyotes

Wisconsin (2)
Justin Schultz, jr, d, Edmonton Oilers
Jason Clark, so, f, New York Islanders

23 thoughts on “Dell agrees to terms with Colorado Eagles

  1. Not surprised by the signing. I wish Mr. Dell the best and hope the NHL tryout and long successful career becomes a reality in the near future. I can not help but wonder if he made the right decision to play by signing a deal to play in the ECHL rather than finish his collegiate career for The Fighting Sioux. The ECHL is a long way from the NHL in terms of the quality of play. That being said, it is his decision and I wish him nothing but the best.

  2. So how are we feeling about Saunders as our #1 and freshman Gothberg as being one injury away from being #1? Not criticizing just wondering what the thoughts are.

    • Might wanna flip that around… they will definitely spit time for large portions of this year, but Gothberg will be the No. 1 come playoff time. He is just simply more skilled than Saunders.

      • Time flies (so we will know soon enough), but I have some doubts about that statement. Mr Saunders was EXTREMELY impressive last year (which is why the Sioux wanted him before he went to Huntsville). Either way, they are going to be a great 1-2 tandem….

  3. No surprise, but disappointing just the same since an ECHL contract isn’t recognized as any big jump in challenge or reward. Good luck, Aaron! Fun while it lasted!

  4. whoever is advising this kid should be fired. sure can’t be much commission on 500 dollars a week. brad, please tell a steady at least graduated and is able to earn some money using his degree

        • Not trashing him. Trashing his advisors.

          He’s a home-schooled kid, correct? Thought maybe he was taking classes for college credit like the home-schooled kids here tend to. Lots of them are a good year and a half into their college education when they finish “grade 12″.

          Plus, Eidsness finished his undergrad in 3 years.

  5. Looking at the list of under classman leaving he is the only one not signing with the NHL. Historically have underclassman that contribute left early for ECHL? There must be more to this. Bring on the competition for the #1 spot and good luck Dell hope this path works for you.

  6. Our Dell has a virus. . . . . time to get a new one :(

    I could see signing with an AHL team in St. John’s, with a chance to earn a spot with the Jets down the road. But to give up the starting position for the Fighting Sioux, for an ECHL team? It’s not like that job wouldn’t be there AFTER your senior year. Not a very smart move if you ask me.

    Best of Luck Aaron!!!

  7. So do the people who disagree with Dell leaving propose that current Sioux players strike while the iron is hot. Perhaps Dell should have left a year earlier. When Brock Nelson did just that, people complained about that. This is their life, and they need to do what is best for them. I bet I could look at those people who are critical of Dell, and the choices they made in their life and just laugh at where they are and the opportunities they have going forward compared to Dell.

    • Yup, I made many stupid decisions when I was younger. I really hope Dell makes it to the NHL and makes it big. Can’t blame the kid for living the dream. Really, he brings in 2000 a month plus expenses basically. Thats as good or better then the average man makes and he’s playing hockey doing it. I would quit my job today and take a 50 percent pay cut if I could play hockey doing it. Good luck Dell, I hope you make it big.

  8. Maybe Dell’s advisor’s thought he had a shot at an AHL job.. Hence he informed the Coaching staff many moons ago… That spot might’ve been filled by the time they could put a deal together..

    Once that deal fell apart, he surely couldn’t have told the coaches he’s coming back, they’ve already moved on at that point.. Maybe this was his only option, I know it doesn’t seem like a huge opportunity, but sometimes players just aren’t fit for the college mold…

  9. Not sure what happened here. ECHL is not a huge step up from UND. His scholarship is probably worth more money than his new contract. Someone mentioned striking while the iron is hot–I think that really hits the nail on the head. Have a good year, and if someone offers you an NHL or AHL deal, you should probably jump on it, esp if you are undrafted. I think Ryan Duncan would tell you the same thing–he wins the Hobey and no doubt would have had at least an AHL or 2 way NHL deal waiting for him if he wants it–instead he comes back, his production drops, and he hasn’t ever had a shot at the show despite a very successful (thus far) and lucrative career in Europe. Bottom line, a lot of hockey is about timing. Hope he does well, but I have my doubts he will ever play above the AHL level, if that.

  10. Perhaps teams weren’t willing to give Dell a shot at an AHL job because they want to keep those AHL spots open to higher prospects that they want to get playing time should the lockout come to fruition. Surely they want their best young prospects with access to a lot of playing time.

  11. Everyone wishes Dell the best in his decision but its under a cloak of wanting the best for the team. I don’t think it’s as much polar extremes of criticism or support as much as it is reasonable debate/comments over the curious circumstances. This decision, at this time, with that team. Very possibly, the last spot on the last team on almost the last day. However, it is probably a good choice for Dell because the team finished in second place in its division last year without a top 20 goalie (league). The highest priority for fans should be the UND hockey team and its goals this year of winning the NC, the MacNaughton, the Broadmoor, sweeping its arch rival along the way, including ending its season. As Coach Hakstol says, we play with those on the ice. Looking forward to 2012-13!

  12. So my question – is the team stronger Saunders and Gothberg?

    Dell was not as dominate as he was the year before.

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