The ECHL announced on Wednesday that 13 ECHL on-ice officials, along with Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst and Manager of Officiating Stephen Thomson, will work the 2019 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan from Sept. 6-10. This marks the eighth 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 – Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs. 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 Centre Ice, do an outstanding job of hosting this tournament in Traverse City each year,” Thomson said. “It is an honor for the ECHL and our officiating staff to be working such a well-respected tournament. The experience of officiating such high-level players prior to the start of our ECHL season is invaluable to their development and will be a great test for each of them personally after a long summer of training.
“The tournament also provides time for myself and Joe Ernst to teach and get to know our staff better off the ice prior to the start of our regular season,” he added. “I know it will be another great experience for all officials involved.”
ECHL officials who will work during the Prospects Tournament include referees Kyle Lekun (1st season in ECHL), Sean MacFarlane (3rd), Max Primeau (1st), Brett Roeland (2nd), Steven Sailor (2nd), Casey Terreri (1st) and Riley Yerkovich (1st) along with linesmen Marc-Antoine Beaulieu (1st), Brady Fagan (1st), Chad Fuller (1st), Shane Gustafson (2nd), Kilian McNamara (2nd) and Tarrington Wyonzek (1st).
In addition to the 13 officials from the 2019-20 ECHL staff, three officials who were part of the NHL Combine Process earlier this summer will also officiate in the tournament.
There are 34 former ECHL officials who are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2019-20 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, Julien Fournier, 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 26 teams in 19 states and two Canadian provinces for its 32nd season in 2019-20. There have been 662 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 20 who made their NHL debuts in the 2018-19 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2018-19, marking the 22nd consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.