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.
Gage Ausmus is a defensive defenseman that plays with a bit of sandpaper. His simplistic approach to the game is a by-product of his intelligence and good skating ability. He plays a very defensively reliable game with strong defensive positioning.
The offensive side of his game is underdeveloped but he does make a nice first pass and can carry the puck well out of the zone to start a rush. He rarely thinks offense though and will often choose the safest play to the point where it is the wrong play. He 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.
Ausmus will begin his collegiate career playing defense for the University of North Dakota.