The Erie Otters are thrilled to welcome Austen Swankler and his family to the organization as Austen committed to the team Friday. He was introduced to the Erie media at a press conference that afternoon.
Swankler, a 6’0”, 181-pound forward, spent the 2018-19 season in the United States Hockey League beginning the year with the Waterloo Black Hawks before a November trade sent him to the Sioux Falls Stampede. The 17-year-old posted 45 points (12G-33A) in 59 games played between the two organizations and added two goals and an assist in ten playoff games with Sioux Falls on the way to a Clark Cup victory as USHL Champions. During the playoff run with Sioux Falls, Swankler cemented himself in USHL Tier 1 history by scoring the game winning goal to end the longest game in league history (122 minutes and 57 seconds) when he scored 2:57 into the fourth overtime to advance the Stampede into the Western Conference semifinals.
Originally selected 59th overall in the third round of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection by the Ottawa 67’s, Swankler’s draft rights were acquired by the Erie Otters along with draft picks for overage captain Kyle Maksimovich at the 2019 trade deadline. The North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania native is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program, as well as the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies where in 2017-18 he led the Midget squad in scoring with 101 points (38G-63A) and was a teammate of current Otters defenseman Brendan Kischnick.