The ECHL announced on Tuesday that 14 ECHL on-ice officials, along with Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst and ECHL Officiating Development Coach Mike Pearce, will work the 2015 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. from Sept. 11-15.
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 Pearce 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 six linesmen.
“The Detroit Red Wings, along with Ann Reeves and her 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 Mike 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 Kenny Anderson, Peter MacDougall, Mike Mullen, Tyler Puddifant, Mike Sheehan, Andy Thackaberry, Stephen Thomson and Jeremy Tufts as well as linesmen Ryan Daisy, Brent Hooks, Tyler Landman, Ryan Madsen, Shaun Morgan and Patrick Richardson.
There were 27 former ECHL officials who worked as part of the NHL officiating team in 2014-15 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, 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, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 569 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th 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 Facebook and Twitter.