Coming into the season, San Jose Sharks Prospect Gage Ausmus was named captain of the Fighting Hawks. Having this honor as a junior is rare, but as his team described on Through These Doors, Ausmus is a strong vocal leader that demands accountability from everyone. He is a natural fit to be a two-year captain. Throughout the season Ausmus typically played the role as UND’s most defensive defenseman and did an excellent job allowing his defensive partner to jump up into the play and generate offense. Gage was a mainstay on the Penalty Kill as his good stick work and strong hockey IQ helped UND maintain a strong box and limit chances for opponents on the power play.
Season Grade:9/10 only because we think Gage can show an offensive side to his game next year. He has not had the chance to due to some of the skilled offensive defenseman like Troy Stecher that UND has had playing for them.Now Ausmus will be relied on to generate these chances now.
Can he? We think Ausmus can generate these chances as an effective two-way defenseman with a strong hockey IQ. We believe that if Ausmus has a decent season, San Jose will do everything they can to sign him, because if they don’t, one of the 29 other NHL teams will. Ausmus projects as a top six defenseman thanks to his strong penalty kill and positioning skills. With time and development he could be a second pair defenseman who sees time on the power play and penalty kill.
Sharks Fans, we think Ausmus or “Goose” will be flying your way after this upcoming season.
Here is a look at the Through These Doors episode where Gage’s team talks about his skills and his selection as captain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crai-kMFZ5Y