As Buffalo Sabres development camp wraps up, we’ll be doing several prospect profiles over the coming weeks. These Buffalo Sabres prospects have been playing in different leagues, from the AHL to junior leagues including the OHL and QMJHL. Either way, they’re all property of the Sabres and will be with the organization for the foreseeable future.
The subject of today’s Buffalo Sabres prospect profile is defenseman Brady Austin, who just wrapped up his fifth year in the Ontario Hockey League.
His junior career now ended – Austin turned 21 last month, so he’s aged out of the OHL – the blueliner will look to make the Rochester Americans lineup next season. If not, he’ll likely end up playing in the ECHL with the Elmira Jackals.
Austin, a Bobcaygeon, ON native, was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres back in 2012 with the 193rd overall selection (7th round).
Austin has spent the last five years in the Ontario Hockey League.
His junior career started about 90 miles southwest of Buffalo with the Erie Otters.
As a 16-year-old, Austin had 15 points in 64 games with Erie in the 2009-10 season. He also spent his sophomore season in the OHL with Erie, putting up 13 points and 47 penatly minutes in 59 regular season games.
Then, on August 2, 2011, it was time for a change for the young blueliner.
The Otters traded Austin to the Belleville Bulls in exchange for goaltender Tyson Teichmann.
Austin spent the next two seasons with Belleville and saw his offensive numbers literally double. He put up 26 points and a career-high 59 penalty minutes in 68 regular season games with Belleville. He also had one goal in six playoff games. His second season with Belleville was also a good one, as he put up eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 64 games. He also had five assists in 17 playoff games with the Bulls.
That takes us up to the 2013-14 season. Austin started the season with the Bulls and had five points in seven games with Belleville.
But in early October, Austin was on the move again — this time to the London Knights in exchange for forward Remi Elie.
He saw a lot of ice time with the Knights, playing among fellow Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov, and put up a career-high 28 points. If it’s any indication of how good a team the Knights are, Austin was a plus-49 on the season. He also had three points in four playoff games with London, but missed some time, first with a bout of mono, then due to the passing of his father.
Despite all of that, Austin came into Buffalo Sabres development camp this week and he looks as ready as ever to get things going. His size is definitely one of the biggest factors of his game; at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he’s hard to miss. He’s certainly grown into his size over the past few years and playing on the Knights helped improve his game.
Will Austin make the Rochester Americans lineup when October rolls around?
It seems like there’s a chance, especially with the departures of Nick Crawford and Matt Mackenzie to free agency. He’d be a big body on the Amerks blueline and could continue to develop his game — this time at the AHL level.