2010-11: Austin Poganski played for the varsity team at Minnesota’s St. Cloud Cathedral HS as a freshman. He scored 22 goals with 16 assists in 27 games and was +15 with 6 penalty minutes. The Crusaders lost to state runner-up Hermantown in the Section 6A semifinals.
2011-12: Poganski was the second-leading scorer for St. Cloud Cathedral as a sophomore and was invited to USA Hockey’s Select 16 Development Camp. He scored 24 goals with 28 assists in 27 games and had 6 penalty minutes. The Crusaders reached the Section 6A semifinals; falling to Rogers, 3-1.
2012-13: Poganski made his USHL debut with Tri-City after skating for Great Plains in the Upper Midwest Elite League in the fall and then finishing his junior season at St. Cloud Cathedral. He also skated in 11 games with the USA NTDP’s U17 team and represented the USA at the 2012 U17 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic in the summer and played in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 in two USHL games. Poganski scored 10 games with 14 assists in 22 games for Team Great Plains. In nine high school games he scored 13 goals with 8 assists and 8 penalty minutes. Poganski had 4 goals with 1 assist in four games at the Five Nations Tournament and had 7 goals and 2 penalty minutes during the regular season with the NTDP U17 squad and led the bronze medal-winning USA squad with 6 goals in six games at the WHC. In December 2012 he committed to playing college hockey at North Dakota in 2014-15.
2013-14: Poganski played with the USA U18 team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament before returning to Tri-City for his first full USHL season. He was selected for the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September and played for the USA in the 2013 U19 World Junior A Challenge. Poganski had 2 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in five games at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and had 1 assist in four games as the USA captured the gold medal at the WJAC.
2014-15: Poganski skated in 38 games for the University of North Dakota as a freshman. He scored 4 goals with 10 assists and was +11 with 19 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished first in the NCHC regular season, falling 3-1 to St. Cloud State in the conference semifinals and 5-1 to Denver in the third-place game. The Fighting Sioux received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, defeating Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State by identical 4-1 scores to capture the NCAA West Regional before falling 5-3 to Boston University in the Frozen Four semifinals.
2015-16: Poganski was the fifth-leading scorer for national champion North Dakota in his sophomore season. Playing on the aptly named “Heavy” line with Luke Johnson (CHI) and freshman Rhett Gardner, he was the only player to play in all 44 games. Poganski scored 10 goals with 15 assists and was +10 with 18 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished first in the NCHC, falling to Minnesota-Duluth in the conference semifinals and tying Denver, 1-1, in the third-place game. North Dakota topped Northeastern and Michigan to win the NCAA Midwest Regional and defeated Denver, 4-2, in the Frozen Four semifinals before winning 5-1 over Quinnipiac in the national championship game.
Poganski is a big, strong forward with some offensive skills and stick handling ability. He enjoys battling for pucks in tight areas and is strong on the cycle. Frequently matched against the opposition's top lines playing for North Dakota, that is likely to be his role at the pro game. He has worked on increasing his skating speed and the improvement has been noticeable.
Poganski provided supplementary scoring with physical play for NCAA national champion North Dakota in 2015-16. Heading into his junior year, he could have a bigger offensive role with the Fighting Sioux but the heart of his game is his ability to keep possession of the puck in the opposition's end and contain the other team's most dangerous forwards. That is likely to be his role at the pro level.