Auger Re-Joins 'Blades for 2019-20, Adds High-End Offensive Skill
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades made a sizable addition to their 2019-20 roster on Tuesday.
Everblades General Manager Craig Brush, along with head coach Brad Ralph, announced that the team has agreed to terms with 6-foot-6 forward Justin Auger, who is the 11th player from Florida's 2018-19 roster to return for this season.
"I'm pumped to be back in Southwest Florida," Auger said. "We had a great group of guys last year and a lot of those guys are coming back this year. I'm excited to build off our success and bring another Kelly Cup to the Swamp."
Though Auger played in only 23 games in the regular season in 2018-19 - he missed 17 while on AHL call-ups and another 30 while sidelined with an injury - he was an electric force when he was in the 'Blades lineup. The Waterloo, Ontario, native averaged nearly a point per game in the regular season, totaling 12 goals and nine assists. He then put up 10 points (3g-7a) in 16 games in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Auger also finished with the Everblades' longest point streak of the 2018-19 season, a 10-game string from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 12, 2019.
"Justin was a big part of our team's success last season," Ralph said. "He's an intelligent player that uses his size and his shot extremely well. We'll be looking for Justin to get off to a fast start and lead this team both on and off the ice to new heights."
With a resume that includes a stint in the NHL and a bevy of AHL experience, Auger provides Florida with another key veteran presence. He has the most professional experience of any player Florida currently has signed for the 2019-20 campaign and has suited up in exactly 300 career pro contests.
A fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2013, Auger has spent a bulk of his career in the Kings organization. He played his rookie season in 2014-15 with the Manchester Monarchs, which were a member of the AHL at that point, and then three seasons with the Ontario Reign from 2015-18 after LA moved its AHL affiliate to the west coast. Auger made his NHL debut with the Kings in the 2017-18 season, suiting up in a pair of tilts in October 2017. He has registered 112 points (56g-56a) in 275 career AHL games.
Prior to going pro, Auger played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm from 2011-14. He tabbed 70 points (34g-36a) in 179 career major junior games.
Florida starts the 2019-20 season on the road before returning to Hertz Arena for Opening Night on Saturday, Oct. 19.
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Florida Everblades forward Justin Auger
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