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Detroit Red Wings

Augustine Joins Exclusive Club at World Championships



Trey Augustine was taken by the Red Wings with their first pick in the second round. (Photo by Chris Tanouye, IIHF)

When Detroit Red Wings 19-year-old prospect goaltender Trey Augustine played for USA in the Men’s World Championships last week he joined a club that includes some of the Who’s Who of all-time great goalies.

Augustine became the 20th teenager since 1930 to play goal in the storied tournament. Names on that list include Andrei Vasilevskiy, Mike Richter, Vladislav Tretiak, the late Pelle Lindbergh and former Red Wings standout Dominik Hasek. Tretiak was 17 when he played for six games for the Soviets in 1970. IIHF writer Andrew Podnieks offers the entire list in his story called “Teen ‘Tenders.”

“Obviously Trey is getting an opportunity here because of the circumstances and he has made the most of it,” said U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, who is also USA Hockey’s Assistant Executive Director of Hockey operations.

Augustine, the Michigan State goaltender, is only three months beyond his 19th birthday. He is the youngest goalie ever to play in the net for the Americans at the World Championships. Mike Dunham (1992), Rick DiPietro (2001) and John Gibson (2013) are three other American goalies who played at the World Championships before their 20th birthday. Anaheim Ducks goalie Gibson was 4-1 that year with 1.56 GAA and .951 save percentage.

“We knew coming in that (Augustine) was extremely poised,” Vanbiesbrouck said. “That puts him at the top of his age group, and he’s probably beyond his years. We knew his capability to stick with it when the chips are down…He is one of the best I’ve seen at being able to  come off the bench. He did that a lot with the (U.S.) NTDP.”

Augustine Role Unplanned

Vanbiesbrouk said the original plan was for Augustine to be the No. 3 goalie: “We’ve done with others when they come through the World Juniors (program), to get a chance to be with the pros and gain some experience. ”

But that changed when Alex Lyon was injured in the second period of the game against Germany. Augustine’s success at the World Junior Championships and U-18 World Championships has given him a reputation. That’s why the Red Wings drafted him 41st overall last June.

“He has a way about him,” Vanbiesbrouck said. “It’s a credit to him that he has the mentality to play the position.”

The Americans were comfortable with the teenager as backup, mostly because Augustine doesn’t act like a teenager. There’s a seriousness about him that is different in what you see with other younger players.

“There was no uneasiness to Trey finishing the game,” Vanbiesbrouck said. “Some things are a blessing, and he certainly has been in this situation.”

Augustine got a second appearance Monday when he replaced former Red Wings player Alex Nedeljkovic after USA fell behind 4-1 to Slovakia. The Americans scored three third period goals to tie that game but lost 5-4 in overtime. He played 35:09 in that game and stopped eight of nine shots.  After two games, Augustine owns a 1.67 GAA and .905 save percentage.

Team USA management is working to bring over another goalie to replace the injured Lyon. Nedeljkovic has experience over Augustine. Depending upon who the Americans recruit, the outlook could also change.

“But I expect to see more of (Augustine) in the next couple of games,” Vanbiesbrouck said.