When the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks hit the ice, Brandon Gawryletz will be on the blueline. The rookie linesman, 32, will be making his NHL debut tonight at the Honda Center.
“It’s going to be a neat experience to finally step on the ice in the National Hockey League,” Gawryletz said. “I grew up in British Columbia, Canada. That’s all any of us ever dreamt about growing up was being in the NHL. It’s definitely going to be a game I’ll never forget.”
Gawryletz will be splitting time this season between the NHL and the AHL, where he’s officiated for the past few years. The Trail, BC, native also spent time officiating in the ECHL and the Central Hockey League, handling their Cup Finals in 2013 and 2014.
Gawryletz, six-foot-zero and 194-pounds, played junior hockey in the BCHL with his hometown team, the Trail Smoke Eaters, as well as with the Langley Hornets. It was in Trail that he posted career highs with six goals, 27 assists, and 122 penalty minutes in 58 games. Gawryletz moved on to play college hockey at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks.
“Guys that I grew up with and playing with at [University of Alaska – Fairbanks], our dream was always to make the NHL as a player,” Gawryletz told the News Miner. “But to be able to be out there and be involved in the greatest league in the world, it’s definitely a honor and something I’m looking forward to.”
For Gawryletz, that moment happens tonight. Best of luck to Brandon on the start of his NHL career!