ROCKFORD - The IceHogs might have lucked into a key player. Justin Auger is the guy.
Since signing a PTO (Professional Tryout Agreement) with the team last Thursday he's gotten off to a very good start. He has scored two goals in his first two games.
Auger had been playing in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades before signing with the IceHogs. He's a definite AHL talent. He spent the last four seasons in the AHL with the Ontario Reign. He helped the Reign reach the playoffs all four seasons and he was an alternate captain. But he sat unsigned all summer waiting for someone to pick him up. That's when he decided to head to the ECHL.
"Yea it was a tough summer," said Auger. "It didn't really seem like much was out there so I figured it was right to go play some games in the Coast and wait for an opportunity to come up. I knew when that opportunity came I just really had to relish it and take advantage of everything I got."
He's doing that so far. Auger has had some time in the NHL. He made his debut with the Los Angeles Kings last October skating in two contests. In his AHL career Auger has 54 goals and 56 assists in 264 games.
So what are his strengths that he brings to the IceHogs?
"Obviously my size. (He's 6-6). You know I'm going to work hard and hopefully keep contributing offensively. Get in hard on that forecheck. Turn pucks over."
Auguer is 24 years old.
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