The Reign announced the signing of two centers Friday — one of whom should be familiar to denizens of The Bank.
Dusty Collins, who played in 24 games for the Reign in 2008-09, has re-signed with the only ECHL team he’s ever played for. The former fifth-round NHL draft pick (Tampa Bay Lightning, 2004) played in 11 AHL games in 2006-07, then spent the entire 2007-08 season with the Central Hockey League’s Arizona Sundogs before signing with the expansion Reign.
Collins had six goals and 14 points in his brief stint in Ontario. He spent the rest of 2008-09 with the Manchester Monarchs (4+2=6 in 16 games) and the Manitoba Moose (7+1=8 in 34 games), who re-signed him to an AHL contract prior to last season.
Collins had two goals, four points and 93 penalty minutes in 70 games with the Moose in 2009-10. The 25-year-old also appeared in five AHL playoff games, scoring one goal.
He’ll compete in training camp for ice time with rookie Pierre-Andre Bureau.
The 26-year-old was a standout in the QMJHL before moving on to a five-year career with the University of Moncton — a French-language university in New Brunswick that competes in CIS. He’s coming off a nine-goal, 24-point season in 28 games. The 5-11, 183-pound center averaged more than a point per game (14+20=34 in ’08-09 and 14+19=33 in ’07-08) the previous two seasons in Moncton.
With the Prince Edward Island Rocket in the QMJHL, Bureau was a teammate of current Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre, and an opponent of former Reign forward Geoff Walker.
The PEI Rocket retired Bureau’s #22 jersey in 2009. The St. Georges Beauce, Quebec native holds the QMJHL record for most games played with a single team (346) and played his rookie season under assistant coach Daniele Sauvageau, the first female coach in QMJHL history.