Austin Lemieux won’t be following in his famous father’s footsteps, at least not exactly. The son of all-time NHL great and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and a forward for Arizona State University, Lemieux did not appear on the Sun Devils’ 2020-21 roster when it was released Thursday. College Hockey News’ Greg Cameron reports that this is because Lemieux is no longer with the team. He has reportedly decided to retire from hockey.
Lemieux, 24, was never drafted into the NHL but was still considered a pro prospect due to his large frame and high hockey IQ. Lemieux earned a scholarship to Arizona State and joined the program in 2017. After redshirting for his first season, Lemieux helped the team to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 2018-19 with 13 points in 31 games. He followed that up with 14 points in 35 games this season for a Sun Devils squad that very likely would have made the tournament again if it had not been canceled. Although these are not remarkable numbers for Lemieux, he was a key piece of the ASU team. In several appearances at Pittsburgh Penguins development camp, he was also considered a standout participant.
For whatever reason, Lemieux has decided – with two years of NCAA eligibility remaining – to hang up his skates and abandon his NHL dreams. However, he is not done with his aspirations of being a pro athlete like his dad. Cameron writes that Lemieux plans to pursue a career in professional golf. While he did not play collegiately at Arizona State, Lemieux was a very successful amateur golfer while growing up in Pennsylvania and it appears that he now plans to re-focus his efforts onto golf as his sport of choice.