The ECHL on Friday announced that Kenny Anderson and Jeremy Tufts have been selected as the referees and Charlie O’Connor and Zachary Roberts have been chosen to be the linesmen for the 2017 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by I LOVE NY.
“It is an honor to be selected to work an All-Star Game,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “Each one of these officials has earned the right to work the All-Star Game and they are all very excited to be a part of the event in Adirondack.”
The 2017 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by I LOVE NY will feature the host Adirondack Thunder taking on the ECHL All-Stars in a non-traditional format featuring 5-on-5, 4-on-4, and 3-on-3 play, as well as a Skills Competition (Puck Relay, Hardest Shot, Fastest Skater) to highlight the talents of both teams. The All-Star Team will be comprised of the League’s top talent and prospects, showcasing the future stars of hockey as they develop in the ECHL. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET.
Anderson is in his third season as a full-time ECHL referee, and also is a current referee in the American Hockey League. The native of Elk River, Minn. previously worked in the United States Hockey League and the Southern Professional Hockey League, and was selected to work the 2013 USHL Top Prospects Game, the 2013 USHL Clark Cup Finals and the 2014 SPHL Presidents Cup Finals.
Tufts is in his second season with the ECHL, and last season worked the first two rounds of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Prior to joining the ECHL, the Exeter, N.H. native spent time in both the United States Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League working the 2014 USHL Clark Cup Finals, the 2015 All-American Prospects Game and the 2015 SPHL Presidents Cup Finals.
This is O’Connor’s third season in the ECHL, and he was selected to work the 2016 Kelly Cup Finals. He also has experience as a linesman in the United States Hockey League and the American Hockey League, as well as working international competitions for the IIHF. The 27-year-old previously served as a linesman for the 2013 and 2014 USHL Clark Cup Finals as well as at the 2014 USHL/NHL Prospects Game.
Roberts is in his 10th season as an ECHL linesman and has been selected to work the Kelly Cup Playoffs for each of the last nine seasons and worked the Conference Finals in 2011, 2012 and 2013. A native of Pittsburgh, he also serves as a linesman for the American Hockey League and the Big 10.
Ian Walsh, Justin St. Pierre, Brian Pochmara and Tom Chmielewski, who worked the All-Star Game in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2011 respectively, are working as referees in the National Hockey League while Brian Mach, who worked the All-Star Game in 1999, works as a linesman in the NHL.
There are 32 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2016-17 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, 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, Kory Nagy, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
Thirty-two of the 47 referees working in the American Hockey League, including four of the nine referees contracted to the NHL, came from the ECHL. Eighty-seven of the 178 linesmen in the AHL, spent time in the ECHL while 10 current ECHL referees and 31 current ECHL linesmen have worked AHL games this season.
The 10th class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Jan. 18, during a luncheon ceremony presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk at the Fort William Henry Hotel in Lake George, N.Y., the official host hotel of the 2017 ECHL All-Star Classic.
Twelve coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while 64 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 48 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
The ECHL All-Star Fan Fest, with player appearances, interactive game, prizes, giveaways, auctions, memorabilia, and a special Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 starting at 6 p.m. at the Fort William Henry Resort in Lake George, N.Y. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the day's events include the ECHL Hall of Fame Luncheon and the 2017 CCM / ECHL All-Star Classic presented by I LOVE NY. Select ECHL Skills competitions will be held the same night and will be incorporated into the evening's events.
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 21 states and one Canadian province for its 29th season in 2016-17. There have been who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 12 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2016-17 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2016-17, marking the 20th 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.