It’s game one for NHL referee Cody Beach.
Beach will make his National Hockey League officiating debut wearing #45 tonight in Arizona as the Coyotes host the New Jersey Devils. He’ll take the ice alongside referee Trevor Hanson and linesmen Trent Knorr and Julien Fournier.
“In life you don’t get second chances to chase your dream,” said Beach after joining the AHL as a referee last season. “To ref pro hockey and chase the National Hockey League dream, I don’t take that for granted”.
A former player, Beach was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, where he was selected with the 14th pick of the fifth round, 134th overall, ahead of current NHLers Brendan Gallagher, Mark Stone, and Frederik Andersen.
Beach, 30, spent time in the AHL and ECHL after four seasons in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen and Moose Jaw Warriors. His former teammates include current Blues Ivan Barbashev, Colton Parayko, and Jordan Binnington, along with Joel Edmundson, Robby Fabbri, Jake Allen, Yanni Gourde, Jaden Schwartz, Jani Hakanpaa, Ian Cole, and fellow NHL referee Corey Syvret. In the WHL, Beach played alongside Brayden Point and Morgan Rielly.
No stranger to the penalty box, Beach racked up 495 PIMs in 123 AHL games, along with 11 goals and 20 assists. In the ECHL, he scored four goals and eight assists with 132 PIM across 39 games. Over 169 WHL games, Beach posted 29 goals and 90 assists with 624 penalty minutes.
Beach made the transition to officiating after taking part in the NHL’s Annual Exposure Combine, an off-season program that looks to identify potential officiating candidates.
From the NHLOA:
Beach is a product of the Kelowna Minor Hockey program. He moved on to play three years in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Calgary Hitmen and the Moose Jaw Warriors. His performance with Calgary in the WHL playoffs helped the team to a Memorial Cup berth and lead to being selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 5th round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In his 19-year-old season with Moose Jaw, the 6’5” power forward was selected to the WHL roster for the Canada-Russia Super Series, was close to a point per game player and lead the league in penalty minutes. Beach went on to play 166 professional games over four seasons in the St. Louis Blues minor league system, the majority with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. His pro career as a player was cut short by injuries.
Looking to stay involved in the game, Beach was encouraged by local hockey volunteers in Moose Jaw to try officiating and the fit brought instant fulfillment. In his second year as an official, Beach was named the top referee in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA league as well as the Prairie Junior B ranks. In his third year, he moved up to Junior A in the SJHL and officiated his first Western Hockey League games. The following season he moved up to the WHL full time and then after his second invitation to the NHL Officiating Exposure Combine the following summer he was offered a NHL minor league referee contract.
Congratulations to Cody Beach on his NHL refereeing debut!