US NTDP U18
2013-2014 stats: 59 games 1 goal 6 assists 7 points 26 PIMs
Height: 6'5" Weight: 202 lbs.
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 57th among NA skaters
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
We might as well put an exclamation point on that '6'5"' up above. Collins has a huge frame. He's bulked up a bit to get to 202 lbs., but easily has the frame to add another twenty or so pounds of muscle. He's a pretty decent straight-line skater for his size, though sometimes struggles defending smaller, quicker players, as most players his size tend to do. Don't expect much in the way of offense from Collins. With one goal in nearly 60 games this year, he'll primarily be a defensive defenseman. He manages gaps well in one-on-one situations. He's not overly strong with the puck on his stick, but compensates by playing a very safe, simple game.
How was his draft year? Trending up or down?
This was kind of a make-or-break year for Collins. He's always been a huge, lanky kid that appeared to have a ton of potential, but getting drafted hinged on him showing some growth and development this year to show some signs that he might develop into what he's capable of. Collins was still a third-pairing defenseman on the NTDP squad this year, but developed into one of the team's more reliable defenseman, showing promise that he was progressing forward.
If teams were drafting based on who would be the best player tomorrow, Collins would be selected much lower than he's ranked by Central Scouting. But Collins big frame and upward development curve over the past year or so is incredibly intriguing. A team may be willing to gamble on that by taking Collins earlier than he's ranked. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see his name called in the second round. Third or fourth round is probably the safest bet, and frankly, it might be a steal if he goes any later.
A steady, defensive-minded 6'5" defenseman that doesn't provide anything in the way of offense, but gets around the ice well enough to be a shutdown force in his own end. He has really upside as a defensive defenseman.
Where will he go next?
Collins has moved in tandem with fellow defenseman Jack Glover from Benilde-St. Margaret's High School as sophomores, to the two years at the NTDP program in Ann Arbor, and now will move to the University of Minnesota--the two actually committed to the Gophers on the same day--next season. It may take Collins some time to adjust to the speed of the college game. He'll likely play a more limited role as a freshman. But after two or three years of development and continuing to grow into his big frame, Collins should be ready for the professional game.