2006-07: Joe Colborne played in 53 games and accumulated 20 goals and 28 assists. He was also instrumental in helping the Kodiaks win the AJHL title as well as the Doyle Cup. In the Summer of 2007 he participated in the Canadian National Men's Under-18 camp where he was one of only two Junior A players invited to attend.
2007-08: Played for Team Canada West for the World Junior A Challenge in Trail and Nelson, BC from November 5-11, 2007. Scored 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in 5 games and helped his team win the gold medal. Played in the 2007-08 CJAHL Top Prospects game. Finished second in AJHL scoring with 90 points (33 goals, 57 assists) and was named AJHL Playoff MVP. Scored a goal and added 4 assists for 5 points in 5 games at the RBC Cup. Was given the 2008 RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year award.
2008-09: This was the towering centers first season with the University of Denver (WCHA). His rookie campaign resulted in 10 goals and 31 points (fifth among WCHA rookies). He showed his durability, appearing in all 40 of the clubs games. He won All-WCHA Rookie Team honors and Denver’s Top Freshman Award, the Barry Sharp Memorial Award.
2009-10: In 39 games for the University of Denver, Colborne scored 22 goals and added 19 assists for 41 points. He was named to the All-WCHA Third Team. Colborne was twice named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week. He signed his first pro contract in March of 2010, ending his college career.
2010-11: Colborne made his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs in the last game of the season – finishing +1 with 1 assist playing just under 19 minutes. He began the season with Boston's AHL affiliate in Providence and was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with a first round pick in February 2011 for puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle. Colborne scored 12 goals with 14 assists and was -16 with 35 PMs in 55 games with Providence. In 20 games with the Toronto Marlies following the trade he had 8 goals with 8 assists and was +2 with 8 PMs. Colborne scored 7 of his 20 goals during the season on the power play.
2011-12: Colborne skated in 10 NHL games with the Maple Leafs in his first season in the Toronto organization and played 65 games for the AHL Marlies. Colborne was recalled from the Marlies in November, getting an assist in his first NHL game and played nine games before returning to the AHL. He later played in one April game and finished the year with 1 goal and 5 assists and was plus-two; averaging 13:41 minutes of ice time with the Leafs. Colborne scored 16 goals with 23 assists and was an even plus/minus with 46 penalty minutes in 65 games for the Marlies. Toronto reached the AHL finals after finishing first in the North Division and Colborne scored 2 goals with 6 assists in 15 playoff games.
The smooth skating, 6’5 center, has soft hands, good vision and a wicked release. He oozes potential, but his impact on games at the AHL level varies dramatically.
The reason for that could be simply that Colborne is a big body who’s used to dominating physically and playing against opponents who are bigger and stronger than him, and it’s taking some time to adjust. But there are also games where he simply looks less engaged and that, wavering intensity level, was a criticism he had in college as well.
Even with his flaws, Colborne is a high-character individual, and is someone willing to put in the work, to improve on his shortcomings.
Colborne is expected to play another season at the AHL level as he continues to mature as a pro player. Expectations are for him to compete for a full-time spot in 2012-13. He’s likely to see spot duty this season as injuries arise.
Projection: Top-six, offensive forward with size.