It’s going to be quite an opening night for Kory Nagy.
The rookie linesman will be making his NHL debut Wednesday, taking the ice for the San Jose Sharks’ home opener against the Los Angeles Kings. He’ll be joined by referees Justin St. Pierre and Graham Skilliter and veteran linesman Vaughan Rody.
Nagy was promoted by the NHL this past summer, having made the transition from player to official. He’ll work a ’40/40′ schedule, splitting time this season between the AHL and NHL. The 27-year-old officiated nine preseason NHL games.
The former defenseman, a 2008 fifth-round pick of the New Jersey Devils, has a combined 306 games of pro hockey under his belt, In 117 AHL games with the Devils, Phantoms, and Marlies, he racked up seven goals and 15 assists. Nagy previously spent time in the ECHL and OHL. His playing career ended in 2014.
Nagy, 26, quickly went from defending the blueline to manning it. After joining the NHL’s officiating program as a minor league official in 2014, he’s worked games in the ECHL and AHL. The native of Walsingham, Ontario, also had a chance to referee games in the SPHL.
Nagy was featured on ECHL Week, where he spoke about the start of his officiating career.
“It was funny how it all started. My brother has a gym in Ontario and one of the guys’ sons that goes there is a supervisor for the officials and he suggested to my brother that I give officiating a try At that point, I had no idea that this was ever an option or that guys actually did this. I thought about it a little bit and it seemed like it’d be a decent fit and that I should potentially give it a try.
“I’m really enjoying it. Last year was my first year doing this — anything in the officiating world — and it was kind of weird seeing guys on the ice that I was playing with the year before. Last year was a little tougher for me to swallow that I wasn’t playing. This year, I’ve accepted it and am really enjoying it. I don’t look back at all anymore. I’m just looking forward and looking to the next chapter.”
For Nagy, that next chapter begins tonight.
Best of luck to Kory Nagy as he begins his NHL career.