Toledo, OH – Defenseman Mark Auk has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2019-20 season.
Auk, the native of Grosse Point Park, Michigan, has a year professional under his belt after spending this past season with Lukko Rauma in Finland. The 24-year-old appeared in 47 games with one goal and nine assists with 12 penalty minutes. Prior to turning professional, Auk spent four years at Michigan Tech, skating in 150 games with 21 goals, 63 assists, 49 penalty minutes while playing as a plus 54.
“Mark brings one year of experience with him from the top Finnish League,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “He had a great college career and we look forward to helping his development in Toledo.”
As a senior in the 2017-18 season, Auk set career bests with nine goals and 22 assists. The 6’0”, 194-pound defenseman was a plus player in all four years for the Huskies and was part of the 2015-16 WCHA regular season championship team.
GET TO KNOW MARK
Q: How was it growing up in the metro Detroit area (Grosse Point Park)?
A: It was awesome growing up with a great group of guys. I rode my bike all the time with my friends, and there was great fishing on Lake St. Clair. Playing with Little Caesars I got to be on the ice after the Red Wings so it was cool to watch them play. I went on to win a state championship at University Liggett School and made a lot of lifelong friends.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: Darren McCarty. On those great Detroit teams the fourth line guys were the glue that kept it together and I appreciated what they did to help their team win.
Q: What was your experience playing college hockey at Michigan Tech?
A: It was cold in the U.P. Unbelievable time with great coaches and great teammates, we were part of the rebuild of that program. Getting to the tournament three out of the four years was a great achievement.
Q: What did you study in college?
A: I studied sports management with an emphasis in kinesiology, that kept me pretty busy. Hopefully I’ll find a way to stay active in hockey and being a personal trainer.
Q: Last season you played a season professionally in Finland. How was that experience?
A: It was a great learning experience. I had to get used to only a few hours of sunlight during the winter months in Finland. That was my first time in Europe so it was nice to broaden my horizons and get to see life from a different aspect.
Q: How do like to spend time away from the rink?
A: You can find me either on a golf course or fishing with friends.
Q: How are you spending the off-season?
A: I lift every day and have a good group of guys from the Grosse Pointe area that skate with different skills coaches every week. It helps me focus on ways to improve my overall game.
Q: Any pets?
A: No, my dog passed away this year. I’m definitely a dog lover.
Q: What’s your go-to food?
A: Pizza. It’s so versatile because you can put anything on it. I like it thick, Chicago style.
Q: Your thoughts on coming to Toledo?
A: I look forward to it, I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. It’s close to home so it’ll give my family a chance to see me play. Coach Watson sold me on coming to Toledo, you get good energy talking to him.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?
A: A good puck moving defenseman who likes to join the offensive play.