The Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League have some prestigious alumni stemming from Dustin Byfuglien to Bryan McCabe to Chris Osgood. In the spring of 2010 6-foot-3 defenseman Colby Robak would join the list of Wheat Kings alumni upon the completion of his 4th season with the organization. During the 2006-07 season, 16 year old Robak played his first games as a member of the Wheat Kings in which he was able to pick up 2 goals and 3 assist in 39 games. The following season Colby played in all but one game for Brandon, scoring 6 goals and assisting on 24 others to help earn him a spot in the CHL Top Prospects Game. Also in 2008, Robak was a member of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. That summer, Ottawa hosted the 2008 NHL Entry Draft where the Florida Panthers would use their 46th overall pick to draft Robak during the 2nd round. Colby returned to Brandon for two more seasons with the Wheat Kings where he recorded another 29 goals and 79 assists during 136 regular season games. He was also named to the WHL East Second All-Star Team for the 2009-10 season. All four seasons Robak was with the Wheat Kings, he and the rest of the team appeared in the post season, making it all the way to the Conference Final and Memorial Cup Final in 2010.
The next fall Colby made the jump to the AHL playing with the Amerks after the Panthers reassigned him to Rochester during Training Camp in 2010. He made a good first impression in Rochester, assisting on 2 goals during his first game in an Amerks uniform. Over the next 75 games with the Amerks, Robak added 7 goals and 15 more assists to complete his first AHL season. This past September, along with many of his teammates from Rochester, Colby was assigned to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL where he played his second AHL season. His 9 goals were the most scored by any Rampage defender this year. He also added 30 assists to lead all San Antonio defensemen in points as well. These numbers grouped Colby with some top NHL prospects and earned him a spot in the AHL All Star Game in January. Those impressive numbers also caught the eye of the Panthers coaching staff, and Colby earned his first NHL call up in February, right before the puck dropped for the Amerks vs. Rampage game in Rochester. He played 3 games with the Panthers before being rejoining San Antonio on their Rodeo Road Trip. During his stint in the NHL, Robak didn’t tally any points but was a +1 and recorded 1 shot during his 3 games with Florida. Upon returning to the Rampage, Robak helped the team make the push to the post season tallying 14 of his 39 points during this period. Five of those points came from a 5 game point streak that he had in March. At the end of the regular season in April, Colby would set a new single season record for most points by a Rampage defenseman with his 39. He continued to contribute to the Rampage offensive effort during the playoffs, recording a goal and an assist during the opening game. He added 2 more assists during the first round against the Chicago Wolves, and another assist when the Rampage faced off against the Oklahoma City Barons for round two of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.
After the numbers he put up this season, I think it’s safe to say Colby’s got a good future ahead of him if he can keep it up. He’s shown that he isn’t afraid to contribute offensively while still being a solid defender. Robak has one more season remaining on his Entry Level contract with the Panthers before he becomes an restricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season.
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