East Grand Forks may be in Minnesota, but its only a short drive across the Red River to the campus of the University of North Dakota. So it was a pleasant surprise to read in the Grand Forks Herald that the University of Denver had received a 2013 commitment from recruit Gage Ausmus [6'1 200 lbs.].
Ausmus will spend the next two seasons playing for the U.S. National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Just last week DU received another commitment from Connor Chatham who will be a teammate of Ausmus for the next two seasons in Ann Arbor.
Ausmus is described as a shutdown defenseman who can handle the puck, makes outlet passes and gets the puck out of the zone
So how did the Pioneers land this elite defensive prospect? One clue may be former University of Denver captain Judd Stauss [1998-01] who is from East Grand Forks, MN and volunteered his time with Ausmus' bantam team in recent seasons.
According to the Herald, Ausmus selected DU for several reasons. “I’m very excited. I love the town [Denver] and I’ve always kind of wanted to get away from East Grand Forks and try something new, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Ausmus selected DU after visiting UND, Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota.
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
D Joey LaLeggia (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
F Larkin Jacobson (Janesville Jets, NAHL)
D-F Wade Bennett (Wichita Falls, NAHL)
F Matt Tabrum (Omaha, USHL)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL)
G Juho Olkinuora (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Ty Loney (Youngstown, USHL)
2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-18)
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Garrett Allen (Unknown)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)