WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published July 01, 2013, 09:36 PM

Thompson and Ausmus Get Drafted, Head to UND

Keaton Thompson and Gage Ausmus provide plenty of local flavor in the 2013 NHL Draft.

By: Dan Corey, WDAZ

It’s every hockey players dream to one day play in the NHL. For Devils Lake Keaton Thompson and East Grand Forks Gage Ausmus, that dream is becoming a reality.

East Grand Forks, Minnesota native Gage Ausmus, "Very excited. Very surreal moment for myself and my family. You grow up wishing this day would come and it's finally here, it's just very surreal."

Keaton Thompson of Devils Lake, North Dakota, "Seeing my name pop up, that was awesome. Getting the call, getting all the congratulations, it was the best experience I've had in a long time."

Two local products who are two of a kind.

Thompson, "I've known Gage for ten years now. Playing on the same teams or playing against, we've been good friends for a long time."

That friendship has landed them at the University of North Dakota, to play hockey for UND head coach Dave Hakstol.

Hakstol, "Well they're different players but they're quality young men and I think that's the real key common ground. They're both very high-end, quality people."

Thompson was drafted in round three by the Ducks, Ausmus round five by the Sharks.

Hakstol, "Keaton is a good offensive player, he has a great ability to get up ice and push the pace and move the puck up ice."

Hakstol, "Gage is more of a stay at home guy and real hard to play against.”

And whether it’s sharing water or being roommates, these two have bright futures.

Ausmus, "I've been playing with Keaton since I was ten or 11 and we went to Ann Arbor together and now we're roommates in college. We never imagined it would be this way but we're very happy that it happened."