The USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and has announced that seven former NAHL officials have accepted positions with professional leagues for the 2008-09 season.
“This was a great season for our guys and seeing them develop into higher level leagues just reinforces our success and direction of our program,” said USA Hockey officiating development coordinator Scott Brand. “The great support of USA Hockey and the tremendous support of the member leagues have made this possible.”
Eugene Binda (Boston), Jarrod Ragusin (Chicago) and Joe Sullivan (St. Louis) will join the ECHL on a full-time basis, along with Steve Berry (Los Angles) and Kevin Graber (Albany, N.Y.).
The Central Hockey League has also hired two program officials in Mike McCreary (Guelph, Ontario) and Tom Steinel (Rutherford, N.J.).
In addition, Justin Lyle (Anchorage) has left the officiating program to join the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League as an assistant coach, while Chris Allman (Detroit) has taken a job with the Atlantic Junior League and Metropolitan Junior League as the development coordinator working in conjunction with the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program.
“We believe that this just the beginning of several more development announcements, as we have about 10 officials attending the WCHA and CCHA officials camp,” Brand added. “We also believe that we’re going to add some officials to some higher-level professional leagues very soon.
“This could be one of our biggest seasons for development.”
The USA Hockey Officiating Development Program is beginning its 12th season and has advanced over 250 officials to higher-level hockey.
Currently, the NAHL, United States Hockey League, Southern Professional League, Minnesota Junior League, Central States League, Central States Collegiate League, Great Lakes League, Upper Midwest High School Elite League, Atlantic Junior League and the Metropolitan Junior League are all program members.
The USA Hockey ODP will hold the first of four training camps in St. Paul from August 14-17.