2009-10: Drafted by Erie in the second round (30th overall) of the 2009 OHL Draft, Brady Austin appeared in 64 of 68 games for the Otters in his first season. He scored 5 goals with 10 assists and was plus-five with 24 penalty minutes. Erie finished fourth in the Midwest Division and was swept by Memorial Cup-bound Windsor in the playoffs. Austin appeared in all four playoff games and was scoreless and minus-three.
2010-11: Austin played 59 games for Erie in his second season with the Otters. He scored 1 goal with 12 assists and was plus-10 with 47 penalty minutes. Erie finished third in the Midwest Division. In a playoff rematch with the Spitfires, the Otters were much more competitive before falling, 5-4, in a decisive seventh game. In seven playoff games, Austin was plus-two with no points or penalty minutes.
2011-12: Austin was obtained from Erie by Belleville in exchange for goalie Tyson Teichmann in an August OHL trade. He skated in all 68 games for the Bulls in his third OHL season and doubled his offensive numbers – scoring 6 goals with 20 assists. He finished the season minus-one with 59 penalty minutes. Belleville finished second in the East Division. The Bulls fell to the Ottawa 67’s in a six-game first round series that included three overtime games. Austin scored 1 goal and was minus-five in the playoffs. Though not listed among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Austin was selected by Buffalo in the seventh round (193rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Austin played in 64 games for Belleville in his fourth OHL season. Seeing top four minutes with the Bulls, he scored 8 goals with 15 assists and was a career-best +16 with 22 penalty minutes. Belleville finished first in the East Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals against Barrie. Austin was +14 in 17 playoff games and had 5 assists with 6 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Austin attended his second training camp with Buffalo before being returned to Belleville for an overage season in the OHL. He skated in seven games with the Bulls and was acquired by Memorial Cup host London in October 2013 in exchange for Dallas Stars’ prospect Remi Elie. In 67 regular season games between the two teams he scored 9 goals with 24 assists and was +51 (+49 with London) and had 42 penalty minutes. London finished third in the Midwest Division before falling to eventual OHL champion Guelph in a second-round playoff series. Austin scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +7 with 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games, missing all of the second round series with Guelph after contracting mononucleosis. He was back in the London lineup for the Memorial Cup, finishing -3 with 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes in three games. Austin signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Sabres in May 2014.
2014-15: Austin played for Buffalo AHL affiliate Rochester in his first pro season — experiencing the fits and starts not uncommon for a player making the jump from junior hockey to the pro game. He appeared in one ECHL game with the Elmira Jackals and had no points nor penalties.
Austin is one of the largest defenseman in pro hockey. He will use his size to make an occasional big hit but does not play an overly physical style nor does he fight much. He is effective at using his size and reach to prevent scoring opportunities and has surprising stick handling and passing skills for a player his size. As with many young players his size, his agility and mobility will be a constant challenge as he faces faster, more talented players.
Austin skated in a lower pairing role for the Rochester Americans in 2014-15. In his first season of pro hockey, he was a healthy scratch at times and struggled to adapt to the pace and higher skill level. While he can play physical when the situation warrants, he is more of a skating defenseman. With several young defensemen in the Sabres' pipeline he will be challenged to secure a spot in Buffalo and will likely spend most of his time at the AHL level on his entry-level contract. Long-term, his skill set suggests he can be an effective lower pairing two-way defenseman one day.