The ECHL announced on Thursday that 16 ECHL on-ice officials, along with Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst and Manager of Officiating Stephen Thomson, will work the 2018 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan from Sept. 7-11. This marks the seventh consecutive tournament that ECHL officials have worked games.
Debuting in 1988 with four teams, the NHL Prospects Tournament has expanded to now include eight clubs – Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. Teams are divided into two divisions for a three-day round robin tournament, then ranked by their win-loss records for final placement in seventh, fifth, third and Championship games on the final day.
Ernst and Thomson will be responsible for the selection and scheduling of the officials for each game of the tournament, and will assist any playing or rule situation that takes place during the tournament. The officiating staff for the tournament includes eight referees and eight linesmen.
“The Detroit Red Wings, along with the staff at Center Ice, do an outstanding job of hosting this tournament each year, and it is an honor for the ECHL and our staff to be working such a well-respected tournament as Traverse City,” Ernst said. “It will provide our officials excellent experience going into the season as these players are competing for roster spots with their respective NHL clubs. It also allows me and Stephen to be able to spend time teaching our officials as well as spend time with them prior to our training camp and season which is invaluable.”
ECHL officials who will work during the Prospects Tournament include referees Cam Fleming, Matt Menniti, Jared Mitrano, Alex Normandin, Ben O’Quinn, Jake Rekucki, Alex Ross and Anthony Tapper along with linesmen Randy Dengler, Rhodes Dolan, Cam Dykstra, Neil Frederickson, Shane Gustafson, Carter Sandlak, Chris Williams and Trent Williams.
There are 33 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2018-19 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Jesse Marquis, Bevin Mills, Kory Nagy, Tim Nowak and Bryan Pancich.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 31st season in 2018-19. There have been 641 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 18 who made their NHL debuts in the 2017-18 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 31 NHL teams in 2017-18, marking the 21st consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.