So. | C | Excelsior, Minn.
Akins scored all seven of his goals last season
in UMD's first 18 games.
Key Statistics: Playing
in 38 of the Bulldogs’ 39 games as a rookie, Akins
led UMD freshmen in goals with seven and tied for team
lead among rookies with 10 points.
What He Does: It was
almost inevitable that Akins would play for a college
with a canine mascot when one hears the scouting reports
he generated during his USHL days. Bulldogs coach Scott
Sandelin recalls a coach boasting about the Akins’
energy, saying, “Drew is like a golden retriever
puppy. You blow the whistle and tell him to stop and
he just keeps going and going.”
The Bigger Picture: While
playing center in 30 of his 38 appearances for the Bulldogs
last season, Akins was content to leave the goal scoring
to others. He says defense and ensuring his line doesn’t
allow a goal has always been his top priority when the
puck is dropped, and said he’s completely comfortable
playing the defensive forward role on a shutdown line.
But with the top three scorers gone from a ninth-place
team, Sandelin says his hope for Akins' sophomore campaign
is for him to add some more offense to his game. Akins
has spent a good chunk of the summer in Duluth working
at hockey camps while logging some hours perfecting
his stickhandling and his shot in hopes that he can
add the offensive touch his coach is looking for.
Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin
on Akins: "I don’t think Drew gives
himself enough credit offensively. He’s a pretty
complete player, and he’s one of a few guys we’re
definitely going to count on to step up their offensive
game. I see him playing a major role for us, especially
on the penalty kill."