By Alex Gallacher
One of the most high profile additions to the Haliburton County Huskies 2022/23 roster is former Mississauga Steelhead Ty Collins. The player from Huntsville, Ontario played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League splitting time between the Steelheads and the Guelph Storm. Logging a career total of 33 goals and 41 assists, Collins enters Haliburton with one objective: win.
Having grown up in Muskoka, Collins spent his younger years making frequent trips to Haliburton County in order to play games against the Highland Storm teams. Being extremely familiar with the area was one of the reasons why he chose to come to Haliburton for his final year of junior hockey. Collins was eager to essentially go back closer to home and play in front of the passionate Haliburton fans.
“I grew up in Huntsville,” Collins said. “It wasn’t too far away from Haliburton so I always used to come here for games. I did my minor atom with the North Central Predators, after that I moved to York-Simcoe to play AAA. Spent a few seasons in the OHL and now I’m here. My parents still own a house there and my Dad runs a business in Burk’s Falls, so It’s almost like playing back home.”
Upon his decision not to return to the Steelheads, the weeks following was complete chaos. Weighing his options between going to school and continuing his junior career, Collins ultimately decided he wasn’t ready just yet to go to school. He attended a pre-season game, and following a meeting with Huskies coach Ryan Ramsay he knew that the Huskies were the right place for him.
Collins made an impact immediately upon arriving in the Highlands, scoring his first goal in his first game with the team against Cobourg during the home and season opener. Currently, the team’s third highest points scorer, Collins vibed with many of the Huskies current players having played with in junior. Players like Christian Stevens, Isaac Sooklal and Myles Perry were among the driving forces that helped Collins land in the Highlands.
“It was a whirlwind of the last few weeks,” Collins added. “ When I decided not to go back to Mississauga, I was weighing my options on what to do next. I talked to some schools, and eventually had a meeting with coach Ramsay here in Haliburton [County]. I wanted to play my last year in junior and that weighed into my decision a lot. I felt that Haliburton was the right fit for me, and I came down to see the rink and meet the coaching staff and I love it here. Being on a team where you know a lot of the guys and the coaches trust you to play your game is just awesome.”
The Huskies came off a great inaugural playoff run last season losing the divisional finals to the Cobourg Cougars, and Collins has the same winning mentality that made last year’s team so dangerous. Collins is a player who wants to win, and feels that anything less than the Buckland Cup will be unacceptable for this team.
“Everyone here is great and they let me do what I [can] do,” Collins said. “The expectation with this team is go all the way and bring a championship back to the county. That’s what I came here to do. I want to win, and I feel anything less than that is unacceptable for this team. I think Haliburton is the best team in the league, that’s the reason I came here and since it’s the last year for me and a lot of the ‘02 guys, we want to win and go out on top.”
While the season is still young, Collins loves every second of playing in the county. While his ultimate goal is to one day play hockey professionally , he knows the next step will be getting his education. Not thinking about that just yet, Collins’ goal is to run the league and help the team win. When No.77 suits up for a game, fans can expect a player who will leave it all out on the ice. More games are yet to come but one thing remains the same, the Huskies are in it to win it.
“I think it’s really cool that I’m from around here,” Collins concluded. “ I grew up coming here a lot and it’s kinda like I’m from here. I live not too far down the road and I’m looking forward to this season in Haliburton [County].”