Sean Collins signs with NHL’s Columbus Blue JacketsMarch 31, 2012 —
Photo by Patrick Shanahan
Cornell men’s hockey player Sean Collins will continue his career beyond the college ranks, officially signing a two-year contract with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, the team announced Thursday morning.
Originally selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2008 NHL Draft as a 7th round (178th overall) pick, Collins completed one of his best seasons on the hill, finishing second on the team with a career high in goals (13) and points (26).
“There have been so many ups and downs over the four years. You just dream about something like this,” Collins said in a brief statement released by the team. “I’m just so proud and thankful of the Cornell coaches and all of my teammates.”
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native played in 136 games over his four-year career, and was one of the two assistant captains on a squad that was one win away from reaching the Frozen Four.
“It’s awesome watching Sean leave (Thursday) with just a huge smile on his face, realizing a dream come true of signing an NHL contract,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
“He worked so hard for it and in coaching you push guys and you prod guys, inform them of the steps they need to take in order to realize their dream. Most of them listen but they don’t put those steps into place so when you see a kid like Sean who works really hard at his game to make himself a better player, it’s really rewarding to see him take that advice and lean on your experience to see what other guys have done to make them successful.”
Collins has been assigned to the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, which is based in Springfield, Mass. Collins is also the first of the four members of the class of 2012 to sign a professional contract.
For junior defenseman and assistant captain Nick D’Agostino, it is exciting to witness a teammate being able to continue to play hockey.
“Sean is a guy who really worked hard his four years here putting in the extra work before and after practice,” D’Agostino said in a phone interview. “He’s really improved year-to-year and is rewarded with (an NHL contract).”