Brady Austin, Erie Otters
Austin is big, and he’s powerful. He stands 6’4” and weighs in at 225 pounds.
In 64 games for the Otters he recorded 5 goals and added 10 assists and was an impressive plus 5 on the Otters defence. His 24 penalty minutes may be an indication that he doesn’t use that size to his advantage, and 10 of those minutes were fighting majors. In the couple of games I’ve seen him play, he tried to use his stick as opposed to playing the man. He will need to learn to use his size to his advantage. He has all the tools to be a force physically on D.
His skating is just what you’d expect from a big defenseman. He’s not fast, and looks a little awkward at times. Will need to work on that as well has his physical play.
But Austin doesn’t come without potential. He is definitely a project with potential. He was picked 30th, in the second round, and that was probably due to teams not wanting to take a chance on him in the first round because of a lack of commitment from him that he would play in the OHL in 2009-10.
I don’t get to see a lot of the Otters, but I question whether Erie is the best place for his development. But his size is the thing that puts him on my watch list for 2010-11. If he improves on the things he needs to, he could be a force for the Otters.