2010-11: Ryan Collins skated for the Minneapolis Park bantam team in Minnesota and was selected by the Portland Winterhawks in the eighth round (174th overall) of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.
2011-12: Collins skated in the Upper Midwest Elite HS league in the fall and was part of Benilde-St. Margaret’s Class AA state champion high school team in the winter. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and had 9 penalty minutes in 22 fall games. The sophomore scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was plus-11 with 8 penalty minutes in 29 games for the Red Knights; who defeated Hill-Murray 5-1 in the championship game. Collins was selected by Green Bay in the 21st round (315th overall) of the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.
2012-13: Collins joined the USA National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI — skating for the NTDP’s U17 squad — and represented the USA in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 2 goals with 7 assists and 20 penalty minutes in 56 games. An assistant captain for Team USA at the WHC he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had 4 penalty minutes as the USA won a bronze medal. In October 2012 he committed to playing for the University of Minnesota in 2014-15.
2013-14: Collins returned to Ann Arbor for his second season with the NTDP. He played for the USA U18 team in the 2014 World Junior Championship and was one of the leaders for Team USA at the 2013 Four Nations Tournament in the fall. In 59 games for the NTDP U18 squad he scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was plus-20 with 26 penalty minutes. In seven games at the WJC he had 2 assists and was plus-4 with 6 penalty minutes. The USA finished fifth; losing to Russia in the quarterfinals. Collins played in the 2013 USA Hockey/CCCM All-American Prospects game. He was ranked 57th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Columbus in the second round (47th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Collins skated in 32 games for the University of Minnesota as a freshman and played for the USA U20 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship. He scored 1 goal with 8 assists and was +7 with 14 penalty minutes for the Gophers. Minnesota won its second straight Big 10 regular season title and defeated Michigan, 4-2, in the Big 10 championship game to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Gophers fell to in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth, 4-1, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals. Collins was +2 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in five games at the WJC. The USA finished fifth, losing 3-2 to Russia in the quarterfinals.
2015-16: Collins endured a challenging sophomore season at the University of Minnesota — being a healthy scratch at times and being cut from the USA U20 team after skating in the World Junior Championship the previous season. In 29 games he was -4 with 4 assists and 35 penalty minutes. The Gophers finished first in the Big 10 in the regular season but did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after a 5-3 loss to Michigan in the conference championship game.
Collins is a defensive defenseman whose size and skating ability make him effective in his own end of the ice. His reach and positional awareness allow him to prevent opponents from creating scoring changes and he has a strong first pass to start the transition. As with many players his size his agility and mobility is a concern but should improve during his time at the University of Minnesota.
Collins had a challenging season in 2015-16 — fighting to stay in the lineup at the University of Minnesota and being cut from the USA squad that won a bronze medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship. With the size and strength to be a shutdown defenseman at the NHL level, he was expected to be a long-term project who would need to improve his mobility and defensive instincts. That has been the case.