A handful of former NHL players have gone on to have careers as NHL officials. Five of the league’s current officials, though, were selected in the NHL Draft. Only one of them actually made it to the NHL as both a player and an official. With this year’s draft nearly upon us, we look back at the draft picks who later went on to become NHL referees and linesmen.
Dean Morton – 1986
8th Round, 148th Overall – D – Detroit Red Wings
Morton is the only current official to have played in an NHL game – and scored a goal.
Selected Ahead Of: Stay at home guys like Murray Baron (#167), Dave McLlwain (#172), Lance Pitlick (#180), and Greg Hawgood (#202).
Draft Class Highlights: Vincent Damphousse, Brian Leetch, Scott Young, Craig Janney, Adam Graves, Teppo Numinen. Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was also drafted that year.
Wes McCauley – 1990
8th Round, 150th Overall – D – Detroit Red Wings
At Michigan State, McCauley was teammates with Bryan Smolinski, Rem Murray, Anson Carter, Kip Miller, and Jason Woolley.
Selected Ahead Of: Peter Bondra (#156), Alexander, Karpovtsev (#158), Ken Klee (#177), Valeri Zelepukin (#221)
Draft Class Highlights: Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, Keith Tkachuk, Doug Weight, Peter Bondra, Owen Nolan, Sergei Zubov, Petr Nedved
Scott Cherrey – 1994
2nd Round, 41st Overall – LW – Washington Capitals
Cherrey was drafted out of Sault Ste. Marie, where he played alongside Joe Thornton and Dan Cloutier
Selected Ahead Of: Dave Scatchard (#42), Curtis Brown (#43), Jose Theodore (#44), Patrik Elias (#51), Freddie Modin (#64), Sheldon Souray (#71), Chris Drury (#72), Milan Hejduk (#87), Daniel Alfredsson (#133), Evgeny Nabokov (#219), Steve Sullivan (#233), Tomas Holmstrom (#257)
Draft Class Highlights: Aside from those listed above, Ed Jovanovski, Ryan Smyth, Jeff O’Neill, Jeff Friesen
Jake Brenk – 2001
5th Round, 154th Overall – F – Edmonton Oilers
Brenk played at MSU Mankato with David Backes and Travis Morin prior to being selected. He spent time in the ECHL, UHL, CHL and in Europe before making the jump to officiating full-time.
Selected Ahead Of: Ryan Clowe (#175), Marek Zidlicky (#176), Jussi Jokinen (#192), Brooks Laich (#193), Johnny Oduya (#221), P-A Parenteau (#264)
Draft Class Highlights: Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Spezza, Jason Pominville, Mike Cammalleri, Patrick Sharp, Mikko Koivu, Craig Anderson, Mike Smith
Ryan Gibbons – 2003
6th Round, 178th Overall – RW – Phoenix Coyotes
Gibbons was suiting up for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds when he was drafted, where he played alongside Islanders’ defenseman Thomas Hickey. He moved on to the ECHL, where he played parts of three seasons with the Chiefs, Checkers, Condors, Jackals, and Royals. Gibbons talked with FOX Sports about making the transition.
Selected Ahead Of: Joe Pavelski (#205), Tobias Enstrom (#239), Dustin Byfuglien (#245), Matt Moulson (#263)
Draft Class Highlights: Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Thomas Vanek, Zach Parise, Patrice Bergeron, Brent Burns, Marc-Andre Fleury, Corey Crawford
As the names are announced at this year’s draft, just remember that only a select few will make it to the NHL. There’s always the chance they might get there in stripes.