Austin, 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, was selected by the Sabres in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He is coming off a career season in which he had nine goals and 24 assists in 67 games split between Belleville and London in the Ontario Hockey League.
The signing was announced Thursday. NHL teams have until Sunday to sign their 2012 draft picks to retain their rights.
That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.
— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4