The Michigan Tech Huskies were extremely busy last fall shoring up their defense for the future, adding five defensemen, the latest of whom was Mark Auk. When Auk committed to Michigan Tech back in early November, he was a 17-year-old blueliner playing in the NAHL for the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Now, he is playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL along with another future Husky, Dylan Steman. The 6'0" defenseman is only a year removed from high school hockey, where he helped lead the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett Knights to the Division III Michigan State High School Hockey Championship as a junior.
The Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, native didn't take long to adapt to the NAHL, earning Combat Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month in September after posting two goals and eight points in ten games, helping the Fighting Falcons to first place in the North Division. Shortly after his commitment to the Huskies, Auk became a hot commodity for USHL teams looking to bolster their roster at midseason. Ultimately, Auk was traded to Cedar Rapids, leaving the NAHL while ranked in the top ten in scoring among defensemen.
Auk has played in ten games for the RoughRiders, recording four assists so far. The transition to the USHL has been good for his development. Auk was one of eight future Huskies to sign a National Letter of Intent back in November but it is likely he will spend 2013–14 in the USHL before heading to Houghton the following fall. Keep an eye out for Auk on next year's NHL Central Scouting list as he is eligible for the both the 2013 and 2014 NHL Drafts. As Auk continues to develop his game at both ends of the rink, he is likely to catch the eye of NHL scouts before even playing a minute for Michigan Tech.