2009-10: Austin Wuthrich was selected by the Everett Silvertips in the 12th round (224th overall) of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, He chose to play midget hockey with Team Illinois before joining the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor in mid-season and competed for the USA at the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge. In 31 games for Team Illinois he scored 9 goals with 8 assists and had 22 penalty minutes. In 25 games with the US NTDP U17 squad he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and had 16 penalty minutes. Wuthrich was scoreless with 6 penalty minutes in six games at the WHC as the US captured a gold medal.
2010-11: Wuthrich split the season between the U18 and U17 teams with the US NTDP – suffering a broken leg early in the year that kept him out until February. In five U18 games he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had 2 penalty minutes. He played 15 games for the U17 squad and had 2 goals with 4 assists and 55 penalty minutes. Wuthrich committed to playing college hockey at Notre Dame in 2011-12. He was ranked 81st among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2011 NHL Draft but was not selected in his first year of eligibility.
2011-12: Wuthrich skated in 36 of 40 games for Notre Dame as a freshman and was the team’s fifth-leading scorer. He scored 7 goals with 10 assists and was plus-four with 34 penalty minutes. Notre Dame struggled to stay above .500 for much of the year; finishing eighth place in the CCHA. The Fighting Irish lost to Michigan in the conference quarterfinals. Wuthrich was ranked 94th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Washington in the fourth round (1o7th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Wuthrich skated in 33 games for Notre Dame as a sophomore and scored arguably the biggest goal of the season for the Fighting Irish. Shuffled throughout the lineup for much of the season, he scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was -1 with 18 penalty minutes. Wuthrich’s last goal was his biggest as he scored 29 seconds into the third period of the CCHA championship game against Michigan, breaking a 1-1 tie. Notre Dame defeated the Wolverines, 3-1 to earn an NCAA tournament berth. The Fighting Irish lost to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.
2013-14: Wuthrich skated in 40 games for Notre Dame, mostly in a third and fourth line role, in his junior season. He scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was -1 with 20 penalty minutes for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame finished eighth in Hockey East in its first year in the conference. The Fighting Irish upset first-place Boston College in the conference tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament; falling to St. Cloud State, 4-3, in overtime in the NCAA West regional semifinals.
At 6’1 and 205 pounds, Wuthrich’s calling card is his physical play. He uses his frame well, playing a big, strong game that includes getting to the net and working hard in the dirty areas. He has also shown a good competitive spirit, fighting back from injury and earning the praise of his coaches throughout his collegiate career. After four years at Notre Dame, it is apparent that his offensive game is very limited, but his solid two-way game and physical play could get him a long look.
Wuthrich remains unsigned currently and the Capitals have until August to extend an entry-level contract his way. Should they exercise that right, Wuthrich will get a shot at bottom six minutes for Hershey or a similar role in the ECHL. His skating and offensive ability on the limited side, Wuthrich’s only hope for making an NHL roster will be his all-around game and using his size to be effective. Might be too limited in that regard to have anything other than a cup of coffee in the NHL.