The Pistons recently connected with alumni Justin Augert for the 4th edition of Pistons alumni update. The fan favorite Augert played 4 seasons with the Pistons from 2010 to 2014. Augert recently completed his 3rd year at the University of Manitoba where he also played for the Bison’s U-Sports Men’s Hockey team compiling 19 points in 28 games.
The 6’3” forward began his Pistons career during the 2010-11 season. Although he wasn’t drafted in the MJHL, Augert impressed the Pistons coaching and scouting staff with his size and skill, which lead to him sign on with the Pistons that year.
Although the Pistons struggled at times during his first two years, Augert was able to grow as a player and gain valuable junior level experience in all facets of the game. The coaching staff relied upon Augert heavily as he had the attitude and potential to take on any task given to him.
Early on in his junior career, it was apparent that the Pistons made the right choice by signing him, as he steadily progressed into one of the top power forwards in the MJHL. Opposition players found out very quickly that it was going to be a constant struggle playing against Augert, as his physical stature and skill were hard to control.
In his third year with the Pistons, Augert took his game to another level, as he was one of the hottest goal scorers in the league. In 60 games during the 2012-13 season, Augert scored 34 times, ranking him 5th in the league. His goal scoring ability helped the Pistons reach the MJHL playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
His goal production wouldn’t stop in the playoffs, as he continued to put the puck in the net on a regular basis. In 19 playoff games, Augert potted 11 goals and had 20 points. This knack for the net helped the Pistons win the 2012-13 MJHL Turnbull Cup Championship.
With his contributions on the ice and his leadership in the room, Augert was awarded the Pistons captaincy for the 2013-14 season. He would lead the Pistons to a very strong campaign, reaching the semi-finals in the playoffs.
The Winnipeg product completed his Junior career as one of the all-time great Pistons players. Augert ranks 4th all time in games played with 218, 2nd in goals with 80, 4th in assists with 84, and 3rd in points with 164. Augert is the Pistons all time leader in penalty minutes with 525. In his 31 career playoff games with the Pistons, Augert ranks 3rd in points with 27 points. His 15 playoff goals are a Pistons record.
Augert was awarded many team and league individual awards during his Junior A career. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, Augert was awarded the Steinbach Pistons Player of the Month award for the months of January and December respectively. The 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons also saw Augert receive the Top Scorer award at the Pistons year-end awards ceremony. He would also win the Golden West Fan Favorite and 3 star awards during the 2013-14 season. The MJHL recognized Augert’s on ice accomplishments when he was awarded a Second All-Star Team selection during the 2013-14 season.
The following is Justin Augert’s Q and A
If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be: Chicken
A TV show I can’t miss is: Game of Thrones
I’m embarrassed ______ is on my playlist: Savage Garden
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to: Australia
My number one pet peeve is: Snoring
My favorite sports athlete is: Connor Mcgregor
In my spare time, I like to: Golf, Fish
Toughest MJHL opponent and or team you played against: Kajon Mckay (Portage Terriers 2008-13)
Favorite MJHL rink other than the T.G. Smith Centre: Virden
STP: What are you doing in life these days?
Augert: I am currently working my summer job as a field maintenance coordinator at Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg while taking a summer class at U of M. In the fall I will be entering my fourth year playing for the U of M Bison’s hockey team. These days in my spare time I enjoy going to the lake spending my time fishing and getting the odd round of golf in as well.
STP: What are your plans for the future?
Augert: As I am entering my fourth year at the U of M, I plan on graduating next spring with my Bachelor of Arts. My long-term career plan is to pursue a career in law enforcement where it would hopefully be with the Winnipeg Police force. Although continuing my hockey career is something I am considering strongly too if the right opportunity would arise. All will be determined in the near future I am hoping!
STP: Do you still follow the team during the season?
Augert: Of course. Since I developed many relationships in Steinbach I continue to keep close tabs on the team. It makes me proud to see the success they have year after year, establishing themselves in my eyes as the most prestigious organization in the MJHL. It is also extremely gratifying to see the attention they receive nationally as I am aware of all the hard work that has gone into this organization from ownership, Paul, the entire staff and all the present and past players.
STP: Do you still connect with any of your former pistons teammates?
Augert: I do, playing in Steinbach for four years, I developed many friendships that will last a lifetime. Although it is tough to see everyone often as we all have busy schedules, I still see them when I can and connect with my former teammates through text and meeting up in the halls at U of M. I am lucky enough to have a couple of Pistons alumni in Jonah Wasylak and Quinton Lisoway on my current team who I have great friendships with. Paul is someone I still talk to quite frequently as he has had a huge role in me advancing to the next level in hockey, and my growth as a person.
STP: Who was your favorite Pistons player and why?
Augert: It is tough to pick out just one because quite honestly, I played with so many great people and players. You think of the guys who stuck it out during the tough times and got the pay off in winning a championship such as Kyle Rous, Trent Genyk, Matt Franczyk, Nick Kobelka, Zach Rackochy and the list goes on. I am proud to be a part of that group who battled through the tough times to change the direction of this now tremendously successful franchise. Jonah Wasylak had to be the funniest guy I played with as he still is able to get a chuckle out of me even on my worst of days. I feel bad for not naming some guys but I genuinely enjoyed all my teammates especially in my final two seasons where the bond we had as a team was something special and a key ingredient to success.
STP: What are your most memorable on ice moments with the Pistons?
Augert: Obviously winning the Turnbull Cup in 2013, as it was something that no one expected of us coming into that year. The character and determination we had in that room was something that I learnt so much from. The memory of that final buzzer going off in game 6 is something that I will never forget. Unfortunately another memorable moment was my last game as a Pistons player in 2014 when we were eliminated in the playoffs. It was a very emotional time for my fellow graduating players and I, as the best four years of your life come to an end. It really made me learn how to cherish the moment as those four years flew by way too fast.
STP: What are your most memorable off-ice moments with the Pistons?
Augert: Spending time with my teammates would be the most memorable. You develop such a strong bond with those guys and they all feel like brothers when you look back at it. The many school visits we did would be another one. To see the joy you could bring to these young kids by just showing face at their school is something that is really cool as a junior hockey player.
STP: What advice would you give to future players wanting to play in Steinbach?
Augert: Do it! It will be the best time of your life I can guarantee it. You don’t realize it till it’s over but it will be the memories you will look back on the most for the rest of your life. Also, to bring your best effort every day as I know how hard Paul and the staff work to make all your goals come true. In my eyes it is the best place to play, as you won’t get a staff that cares more about your future than the Steinbach Pistons. So put in the work, put the team first and most importantly treat everyone in Steinbach with respect as they care so much about your future, and development as a person and player.
STP: How did your time with the pistons get you to where you are today?
Augert: I owe much of my growth as a person and player to the Steinbach Pistons as I basically did all my growing up there. I look back to my seventeen year old self and the growth I made leaving as a 20 year old was quite substantial (and I am sure many people would say the same). Yes I improved as a hockey player but my character and integrity is what I believe grew the most. Again you do not realize entirely until you leave but the person I am today has much thanks for Paul and the Steinbach Pistons organization, who will always be near and dear to my heart.