2009-10: Collin Olson appeared in nine games for Minnesota’s Apple Valley HS as a sophomore. Backing up junior starter Aaron Gretz, Olson was 3-2 with a 3.95 goals against and .820 save percentage. Olson attended USA Hockey’s Select 16 Camp and was selected for the National Team Development Program.
2010-11: Olson skated for USA Hockey’s NTDP U17 squad splitting the goaltending duties with Jared Rutledge. In 30 games he was 17-10 with 3 shutouts and had a 2.57 goals against and .905 save percentage. Olson played for the USA’s U17 team at the 2010 U17 Four Nations Cup, the 2011 World Hockey Challenge and in the 2011 U18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament. He was 2-0 with a 1.52 goals against and .963 save percentage, including stopping 33 shots against Russia in the championship game at the Four Nations Cup. In the WHC he was 2-0 as the USA finished second. And in his only game at the Vlad Dzurilla tournament he stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 5-1 win. Olson committed to playing college hockey at Ohio State in 2012-13 (Ironically, Gretz is the catcher on the Buckeyes baseball team).
2011-12: Olson skated with the NDTP U18 and team and was named the Top Goaltender at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. In 38 games he was 19-11-1 with 4 shutouts and had a 2.44 goals against and .902 save percentage. He was 5-0 and had three shutouts at the WJC; finishing with a 0.80 goals against and .966 save percentage as the USA captured the gold medal. Ranked 21st amongst North American goaltenders in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft, Olson was selected by Carolina in the fifth round (159th overall).
2012-13: Olson appeared in nine games as a freshman at Ohio State as senior Brady Hjelle handled the bulk of the goaltending. Olson was 2-3-1 for the Buckeyes and had a 3.09 goals against and .901 save percentage. Ohio State finished fourth in the CCHA and reached the conference tournament semifinals; falling to CCHA champion Notre Dame, 3-1.
2013-14: Hoping to challenge for the starting job at Ohio State as a sophomore, Olson appeared in just two games as a backup to freshman Matt Tomkins (CHI) and left school in November to play in the USHL. Backing up former Shattuck-St. Mary’s goalie Kyle Hayton, a St. Lawrence recruit, Olson played in 20 games for the Sioux City Musketeers. Olson was 12-3-1 with 1 shutout and had a 2.31 goals against and .923 save percentage. Sioux City finished third in the Western Conference and reached the Clark Cup semifinals. Olson played two playoff games and was 1-1 with a 3.07 goals against and .904 save percentage.
2014-15: Olson started for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers — playing in a career-high 44 regular season games and five playoff contests. He committed to playing college hockey at Western Michigan in 2015-16 in October 2014. Olson was 27-10-4 with 3 shutouts and had a 2.78 goals against and .914 save percentage during the regular season. Sioux City finished first in the Western Conference, falling to eventual Clark Cup champion Sioux Falls in the first round of the playoffs. Olson was 2-3 and had a 3.87 goals against and .905 save percentage in the five-game series with the Stampede.
Olson has the size team’s covet in net. Measuring 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Olson is poised to be the biggest goaltender in Western Michigan history when he finally joins the team after a long wait following his departure from Ohio State. That wait has forced him to face lesser competition in the USHL, so he will need to prove he’s improved on his footwork to go along with his effective butterfly style.
Olson really hasn’t had much of a chance to progress due to his transfer out of Ohio State early in the 2013-14 season. He will battle for the starting job at Western Michigan — 2015-16 will be his junior year — but will need to prove he’s worthy of a contract when his college eligibility is up given Carolina’s suddenly crowded pool of goalie prospects.