Edmonton, AB – Canada West Universities Athletic Association and the Western Hockey League have announced that former Okotoks Oiler and Saskatoon Blades forward Chris Collins from the University of Calgary Dinos is the WHL men's hockey Graduate of the Month for October, and initial monthly winner for the 2013-14 season.
The award is voted on by all Canada West men's hockey coaches. Each monthly winner throughout the season receives a $500 cheque towards the cost of education, a plaque, a letter from WHL Commissioner Ron Robison and a computer bag. Canada West will also honour winners at a home game and he will be invited to make a guest appearance on the WHL Radio Show.
Collins, an Arts major playing his hometown of Calgary, has made a name for himself early in his rookie season with the Dinos. Collins scored nine times and added five assists for 14 points in his first eight CIS games, helping lead Calgary to an 8-0-0 record, tied for first place and ranked #3 by Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The 6-1 forward leads Canada West, with nine goals, and sits second with 14 points.
Highlights of the month for Collins include a goal in his very first university game on October 4th, a win at Regina, a four-game scoring streak from October 12-25 and a three-game span where he scored seven goals (Oct. 12-19). He was named the game's First Star four times – October 5th at Regina, Oct. 12 vs. UBC, Oct. 18 & 19 at/vs. Lethbridge, and assisted on an overtime game-winning goal Oct. 25 at Manitoba. Full Canada West statistics can be found on LeagueStat.com.
The fact Collins has stood out during all four weekend series' is a testament to his skill level and leadership.
Now 21 years old, Collins spent five years playing in the Western Hockey League after being selected 77th overall by Chilliwack in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft. From 2007-08 to 2010-11 he remained with the Bruins before being traded in November 2010, when he headed off to spend the remainder of 2010-11 and all of the 2011-12 season with the Saskatoon Blades. He then took a spot on the 2012-13 Okotoks Oilers roster and led the team with 32 goals and 40 assists.