But in July, he inched closer to his dream of playing in the NHL, signing a two-year, two-way contract with the Boston Bruins.
"I'm not getting too excited about a contract but obviously I'm very happy that they have my rights," said Robins. "I know that it's just starting to get my foot in the door and the rest is up to hard work and fate."
There's no doubt Robins has put in the work. There have been a lot of highs and lows along the journey --- an English major in college, Robins writes a blog sharing his experiences, and he believes perseverance is the key to success
"It's just keeping that fire burning in your heart and knowing that this is what I want to do and this is what I've wanted to do since I was five years old," says Robins.
All players are looking for an edge, a step up on the competition. In his quest to get to the NHL Robins has stumbled across the core control glove, a new technology used to enhance training that's safe and legal.
"I'm not scientist," Robins said. "I'm just a hockey player, but what it does is it extracts heat from my muscles and my body and lowers my core temperature after training so that I'm able to recover quickly back to base level where I was before the training session, and either a) able to do another training or b) be recovered for the next training tomorrow."
The Core Control Glove creates a vacuum around Robins hand and runs ice water through that vacuum, basically keeping the blood vessels open in the palm of his hand -- one of the most efficient places for heat extraction. The technology is used by the San Francisco 49ers and Robins is helping introduce it to the hockey world.
"I've used it now for about 6 months and I've seen great gains and really think that it's an effective training tool," Robins said.
Robins will head to the Bruins training camp in September, well aware others look up to him as he aims to prove that anything is possible.
"You can come from the middle of nowhere in the north woods of Wisconsin and really chase your dreams and goals whatever they are," said Robins. "Whether they're athletic or anything else, that's something I try to stress to young people, is to really find what your passion is and invest 100% of yourself into that and it happens, it might not happen right away, but it can happen."