Referee Brandon Schrader will skate on to NHL ice for the first time tonight.
Schrader, 24, will make his NHL debut at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as the Philadelphia Flyers take on the hometown Devils.
The rookie referee, who wears #46, will be joined on the ice by referee Francis Charron and linesmen Mark Shewchyk and Ryan Daisy.
From the NHLOA:
Schrader was born and raised in Sanborn N.Y., a small town about 30 minutes north of Buffalo where he played his youth hockey. The former defenseman went on to play for the 18U Buffalo Jr. Sabres in the Tier 1 Elite league during his senior high school year.
After graduating high school, he dressed up for the Wenatchee Wild in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) during the 2013-14 season. The following summer (2014), Schrader decided to hang his skates and to move back home to focus on his academics after he was accepted at Niagara University, a private Catholic university located in Lewiston, N.Y. He graduated from their Criminology & Criminal Justice and Computer Crime program in the summer of 2018.
His officiating journey started at the age of 19 while attending college after some friends and family convinced him to lace his skates again but this time with a zebra jersey on. He spent his first couple of years working youth and high school hockey games locally before moving up to working some games in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) and the North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) for the USA Hockey Program. His on-ice performances were quickly recognized and Schrader was promoted to work D1 college games for the Atlantic Hockey League only a few years into officiating and while still in school himself.
He attended the NHL Officiating Combine in the summer of 2017 and made great impression on the recruiting staff who recommended him to the American Hockey League. He spent the next season (2017-18) officiating in the AHL and working the Calder Cup Playoffs that year while still being a senior at Niagara University. The National Hockey League recognized his potential in the summer of 2018 when they offered him a Minor League Referee contract
All the best to referee Brandon Schrader as he starts his NHL career!