Collin Olson is a 6’3, 205 pound goalie spent the last two years with the U.S. National Team Development Program. He guarded the crease with Team USA as they went on to win the gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic. Olson earned a shutout (his second consecutive shutout) in the tournament’s gold medal game to earn Team USA’s Player of the Game and the tournament’s best goaltender. In 2011-12, the Minnesota native played in 38 games and had a 2.44 goals against average and .902 save percentage. He won the silver medal at the World Under-17 Championship the previous season.
So, how do you end an amazing, gold-winning season? Commit to playing for The Ohio State University and get drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes of course.
KP Kelly: It’s been an eventful year, no?
Collin Olson: It was, in a great way. The last two years and especially 2012 with winning the gold medal in Czech and then being drafted. It’s been a crazy summer, but it’s all been wonderful experiences.
KP: Is it even fair of me to ask you to rank your top three experiences of this past year?
CO: Oh man, I could rank them. I would say winning the gold with my teammates was the best, going down to Carolina for the camp, meeting all the guys and learning about everything was second. The draft itself was third.
KP: What were your thoughts and feelings from Canes’ camp?
CO: You know what, I had a great time. I met a lot of kids. Everyone was really nice and we got along well. I learned a lot, and I’m not just saying that. I actually really did retain a lot of knowledge and learned a lot from Pete. On the ice I got to see where I matched up with everyone. For the first two skates, I mean I hadn’t skated in awhile, so I wasn’t quite there. I think the third and fourth session, especially the fourth, was a lot better for me.
KP: You mentioned Pete (Friesen), he is quite a character.
CO: You know what, he knows what he is talking about and that’s what I like about him. He is unique and I like the fact that he is the head medical trainer and their strength guy, because that kind of goes hand in hand, so I don’t think you will find that too often.
KP: Well, we don’t know you very well. How would you describe yourself?
CO: Well, I like to have fun. I’m a little bit shy, but I’m working on it. I’m pretty easy to get along with.
KP: Speaking of making friends, when do you head over to Columbus?
CO: I head down to Columbus on August 5th and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to be the longest summer. I love summer, but I always like having something to do. I used to having something to do. Now it’s July and there’s nothing going on so it’s nice, but also really looking forward to getting down there in August.
KP: I can’t wait either. You definitely gained a new fan as being part of both the Canes and Ohio State. I’m excited for you!
CO: Thank you. I just got the (OSU) schedule when I was in Carolina. Looks like a good one, a lot of road games, but other than that, very good.
KP: It definitely seemed a little travel heavy, but I bet it doesn’t bother you much.
CO: No, no. I’m used to the travel. It’ll be nothing like going over to Finland or Sweden or anything like that.
KP: That’s true. Let’s travel back to Raleigh, did you get to see the town at all or was it all work and no play?
CO: It was pretty much all work and no play. I actually didn’t get out until the last night. I connected to someone down there, my third cousin or something, so after Saturday night they took me out to dinner. I had a barbeque sandwich which was really good. So, that was really the only time I got out. We were up around seven in the morning and didn’t get back until seven at night and everyone just kind of wanted to go to bed at that point.
KP:Do you have any brothers or sisters?
CO: I do have an older brother, he is 21. We went to the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is a theatre major, doesn’t play any sports. We are very opposite.
KP: Isn’t the first OSU game against Minnesota?
CO: It is. Our first game is actually at Minnesota Duluth. He (his brother) actually has an internship in Sarasota, Florida for a year. He leaves in September and will miss that. Bums us both out.
KP: That is a shame, but switching to happy thoughts…one of my passions besides Canes and Ohio State is goalie mask art. Who does your mask?
(This is where I start to get crazy excited. I’m such a nerd.)
CO: Todd Miska. He’s a big fan on Minnesota and I know he does a lot of NHL guy’s masks. He does a great job. The first year I used him is the mask I have now and it’s been my favorite helmet I’ve had.
KP: Oh, I’m so excited. Did you give him a direction? Can you give any hints?
CO: I can tell you what’s on it. It’s gonna be a big “O” on one of the sides with the Columbus cityscape kinda in the background with red in the back and on the front will have a Buckeye leaf with my number which will be 39. The other side will have the Lane Avenue bridge that lead over to the arena and then on top will have the stripe just like all the other guys have down there helmet. Be part of the team a bit. I’m excited to see how it turns out.
(At this point, I’m like the Hulk. I’m trying not to transform from my professional self to a goalie-obsessed freak show. Goalie mask art! Ohio State! It’s a girl’s personal freak’in Christmas morning!)
KP: (clears throat) Oh my, that is awesome! I..I..I…if I get to go to the Ohio State versus BG game you have to promise I can take a picture with your mask.
(Annnnd the crazy Hulk-hockey fan bursts on the scene.)
CO: Oh, absolutely.
(What a good sport!)
KP: Good! I’m holding you to that! Well, I think you will learn pretty quickly that Caniacs are quite a
crazy faithful fan base and we will be cheering for you. Let’s end by you telling us what we can expect from Collin Olson next season?
CO: Oh, all sorts of good things. I’m hoping to have a great year and hopefully that will help get me down to Carolina sooner. That’s really the main goal. Obliviously, you have to live in the moment and be with Ohio State, but the main goal is getting to that next level.
KP: It sounds like a great plan and we look forward to it. We pray you have a safe and successful season. And send me pictures of your mask as soon as you get it!
(Ends call and dances around the house singing, “Hang on Sloopy.”)
Well Caniacs, sounds we drafted a classy goalie who is bound to have another thrilling season…in a really good looking mask.
For your viewing pleasure…
(I start dancing at the 3:15 mark)