Gage Ausmus
Image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Gage Ausmus

Hometown:

Billings Montana

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1995-04-22

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

5th round (151st overall), 2013

Weight:

211 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Gage Ausmus played in 15 games for Team Great Plains in the Upper Midwest Elite High School League in the fall before skating for Minnesota’s East Grand Forks High as a sophomore. He scored 2 goals with 10 penalty minutes for Team Great Plains. Ausmus scored 4 goals with 8 assists and was +7 with 10 penalty minutes in 17 games for East Grand Forks. Ausmus was also the quarterback of the school’s football team. He attended USA Hockey’s Select 16 Development Camp in June.

2011-12: Ausmus left East Grand Forks to play for the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Skating for the NTDP’s U17 team he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and had 60 penalty minutes in 54 games. Ausmus played for the USA’s U17 team in three international tournaments. He had 1 assist in four games as the USA won the 2011 Four Nations tournament in Russia and had no points with four penalty minutes in five games as the USA finished second in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. The USA U17 team finished first in the 2012 U18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in Slovakia and Ausmus played three games with no points or penalty minutes.

2012-13: Ausmus returned to Ann Arbor for a second season with the NTDP program and skated for the silver medal-winning USA squad at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. Ausmus skated in 66 of 67 games for the NTDP U18 team and scored 2 goals with 12 assists and 54 penalty minutes. He had 2 assists and was +5 with 6 penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC in Sochi, Russia. The USA lost to Canada, 3-2, in the gold medal game. Originally committed to attending the University of Denver, Ausmus de-committed after the release of coach George Gwozdecky in April and in May he committed to playing at North Dakota. He was ranked 148th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by San Jose in the fifth round (151st overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Ausmus skated in 21 of 42 games for the University of North Dakota as a freshman. One of six NHL draft picks on the Fighting Sioux’ veteran defense corps, he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was +2 with 13 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished second to St. Cloud State in the newly-formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference; losing to Miami, 3-0, in the NCHC semifinals. The Fighting Sioux received an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional
after a win over Western Michigan in the league’s third-place game and defeated Wisconsin and Ferris State to win the regional; falling to Minnesota 2-1 in the Frozen Four semifinals on a goal in the game’s final second.

2014-15: Ausmus skated in all 42 games for the University of North Dakota in his second season. Frequently paired with fellow sophomore Troy Stecher, he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was +15 with 36 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished first in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season, falling 3-1 to St. Cloud State in the NCHC semifinals and 5-1 to Denver in the third-place game. North Dakota 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. The Sioux lost to Boston University, 5-3, in the Frozen Four semifinals.

Talent Analysis

Ausmus is a defensive defenseman that plays with a bit of sandpaper. He takes simplistic approach to the game is predicated on his intelligence and strong skating. He plays a very defensively reliable  game with sound defensive positioning. The offensive side of his game is underdeveloped. He makes a nice first pass and can carry the puck out of the defensive zone to start a rush. Ausmus rarely thinks offense and generally relies on the safest play at times not taking advantage of potential scoring opportunities.

Future

Ausmus enters his junior season at the University of North Dakota in 2015-16. He should once again have a significant role for the Fighting Sioux and will be one of the upperclassmen looked to to provide leadership as the squad makes the transition from new Flyers' coach Dave Hakstol to Brad Berry; an assistant coach to Hakstol last season in Grand Forks. Ausmus has the work ethic to one day become an NHL defenseman but much will be dependent upon how he develops his size and game as a shutdown defender.

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