NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Merrimack’s Darrel Scoville has opted to pass up his final year of college eligibility to sign a two-year contract with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Scoville, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, ranks among Merrimack’s all-time leading defensemen in scoring with 17 goals and 61 assists for 78 points in 107 career games. In 1995-96, Scoville was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after recording six goals and 19 assists for 25 points.
In 1997-98, Scoville finished with 30 points on four goals and 26 assists, helping Merrimack to a quarterfinal upset of Boston University and the school’s first-ever berth in the Hockey East semifinals. Scoville was named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team after scoring one goal and adding six assists in the playoffs. His seven playoff points tied him for the league lead.
“I really expected to be back at Merrimack,” Scoville told the Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune. “A few teams expressed interest, but nothing really impressed me. Then, all of sudden a few weeks ago, Calgary offered an incredible deal.”
Calgary is the closest NHL team to Scoville’s home in Regina, Sask. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but according to the Eagle-Tribune, the contract includes a “healthy” six-figure signing bonus.
“He’s one of the best defensemen in Hockey East,” new Merrimack coach Chris Serino told the Eagle-Tribune. “Are we going to miss him? Absolutely. It’ll hurt. But someone else will have to pick up the load.”
“It wasn’t easy,” added Scoville. “I have a lot of great memories and friends here. I didn’t want to let the guys on the team down, like I was bailing out. But this was an offer I couldn’t refuse; plus, I’ve promised I will go back for my degree beginning next summer.”
Scoville, 22, was named to the Hockey East Academic Honor Roll in each of his first two years at Merrimack.