WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced, Thursday, that they have signed defenseman Johnny Austin to an American Hockey League contract for the 2018-19 season.
A 2014 alum of Benilde-St. Margaret's, Austin was a Reed Lawson Award finalist in 2014, having spent two seasons as a Red Knights, scoring nine goals and 51 points while serving as a co-captain as a senior in 2013-14.
Austin then moved onto the collegiate ranks, where he spent four seasons at the University of Connecticut, finishing his career with a four-goal, 19-point season in 2017-18, finishing his career with eight goals and 44 points in 127 games.
He had his most productive season in his senior year. In 35 games, Austin managed to set career highs in goals (4), assists (15), points (19), shots on goal (76) and blocked shots (60). His 19 points led all team defensemen, and placed fifth overall on the Huskies. Austin also notched 11 power play points, tying him for the team lead in that category, as well.
The 23-year-old from St. Louis Park, Minn., also appeared in nine AHL games last season with the Laval Rocket while playing on an amateur tryout agreement. Austin earned his first pro point with an assist during his AHL debut on Mar. 23, 2018, versus Charlotte.
Austin spent three of his four seasons at UConn playing alongside fellow Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Joseph Masonius. The two finished first and second in points, respectively, among team defensemen in 2017-18.
He also joins fellow BSM and UConn alum, Spencer Naas, in signing an AHL deal for the upcoming season. Naas recently signed a deal with the Texas Stars.
Johnny Austin scored 51 points in two seasons as a Red Knight and was a Reed Larson Award finalist in 2014.