College hockey teams began reaching out to Trey Ausmus’s father, Troy, this spring to gauge Trey's interest in playing for their teams.
But Trey didn’t pay much attention.
“The only place I wanted to go was North Dakota,” Ausmus said. “I told my dad: ‘You can tell them that I haven’t decided yet if that sounds better, but I’m going to North Dakota. That’s the place.’”
On Monday afternoon, Ausmus made that happen.
The East Grand Forks Senior High freshman defenseman gave a verbal commitment to play college hockey at UND, where his older brother, Gage, captained the 2015-16 team to its eighth NCAA national championship.
Ausmus is the first 2004-born player to commit to UND.
“I’d sit in the summer and talk to Gage about it,” Ausmus said. “He’d always talk about how much he loved it, how much he loved the locker room and culture and how it’s a big family. I want to be a part of that.”
Ausmus had a terrific first varsity season with the Green Wave, tallying nine goals, 19 assists and 28 points in 31 games from the blue line. He helped Senior High win the Section 8A title and scored a goal in the Class A semifinals, which is where the Green Wave run ended.
Trey, who now stands at 5-11, 147, is a different style of player than his older brothers, Gage and Tye. Gage is more of a stay-at-home, physical defenseman, while Tye, who won a state title with the Green Wave, used his skating as an advantage.
“The confidence he has with the puck is amazing for a ninth-grader,” Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno said. “His ability to make plays with the puck is extremely high. He didn’t lack any confidence.
“He’s still so young that it’s hard to tell what type of player he’s going to be. Offensively, you can see it. Next year, he’ll start hopefully physically maturing a little bit. Then, we’ll be able to tell truly what type of player he is.”
After making his commitment, Trey called his brothers to tell them.
“Gage just said he was fired up,” Trey said. “He told me he’d be at every one of my games.”
Ausmus plans to play next season for the Green Wave again.
“We’re a little eager for some revenge,” Ausmus said. “We didn’t finish exactly how we wanted to. I think next year, our team will be very solid. We have a lot of high expectations coming into the season.”