The ECHL announced on Monday that eight ECHL on-ice officials, along with Manager of Officiating Operations Stephen Thomson, will work the 2021 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan from Sept. 16-20. This marks the ninth consecutive tournament that ECHL officials have worked games.
Debuting in 1988 with four teams, the NHL Prospects Tournament will feature five clubs this year – Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.
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 four referees and four linesmen.
“I would like to thank the Detroit Red Wings for trusting us with managing the officials for such a highly regarded prospects tournament,” Thomson said. “The Wings and staff at Centre Ice do a phenomenal job of hosting, and with the absence of the 2020-21 tournament, we all can't wait to get back up to Traverse City.
“This will certainly be a highlight on each of the officials' resumes and an experience they won't forget,” Thomson continued. “The opportunity to officiate these players competing for NHL roster spots is invaluable to the officials’ development and will be a good challenge for them as they kick off their 2021-22 season.
ECHL officials who will work during the Prospects Tournament include referees Logan Gruhl, Sam Heidemann, Trevor Wohlford and Jack Young along with linesmen Chad Fuller, Bryan Gorcoff, Matt Heinen and Kirsten Welsh.
There are 41 former ECHL officials who are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2021-22 with referees Reid Anderson, Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Mitch Dunning, Trevor Hanson, Beau Halkidis, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Michael Markovic, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Carter Sandlak, Graham Skilliter, Furman South, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Julien Fournier, Brandon Gawryletz, Mitchell Hunt, Trent Knorr, Matt MacPherson, Jesse Marquis, Kilian McNamara, Bevin Mills, C.J. Murray, Kory Nagy, Ben O’Quinn 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 34th season in 2021-22. There have been 698 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 2020-21 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2020-21, marking the 24th 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.