Devin Berg is the newest zebra to join the NHL ranks. The Ontario native was signed to a National Hockey League contract and will be manning the lines in the AHL and NHL for the 2015-16 season.
Berg transitioned into officiating after wrapping up his junior hockey career. He first donned the stripes in 2011 with the Stratford and Tavistock Minor Hockey System, later moving up to the OHA and OHL in 2013.
Berg worked the lines for the OHA Cup, OHL Gold Cup, and the World Under 17 Challenge in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He also worked the first round of the OHL playoffs and two games in the OHA’s Sutherland Cup Finals. In 2014, Berg was the recipient of the Hugh McLean Award as the OHA’s most promising official.
“It seemed to just come natural to me,” said Berg, of making the jump to officiating. “I really enjoyed doing it and it kept me part of the game. I just kept it going and it’s taken me to where I am now. It’s turned out really well.”
In 2015, Berg made it as far as the OHL Finals. He also officiated the 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game.
“I think as a first-year guy I proved myself but now it’s just being a bit more comfortable with the pace and being a bit more familiar with the players,” Berg said in 2014, after his first season in the OHL. “The next step would be the American Hockey League.”
One year later, Berg’s taken that step.
After participating in the NHL’s Exposure Combine, which brought together prospects and potential first-time officials, Berg was inked to an AHL/NHL deal. He’s set to work 40 games in the AHL and 40 in the NHL for the upcoming season.
That puts Berg one step closer to taking the ice with the man who suggested he become an official – NHL linesman Steve Miller. “Steve was the one who actually let me know that officiating was a possibility,” Berg said. “He’s been a huge help and a great mentor to get me started.”
Miller isn’t the only support Berg will have in the NHL. Linesman Shandor Alphonso followed the same path last season, joining the NHL and AHL right out of the Ontario Hockey League.
Best of luck to Devin Berg in the upcoming season!