~ Image courtesy scoutingtherefs.com
Former Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League referee Cody Beach is set to make his National Hockey League debut.
Beach, 29, spent two years between 2018 and 2020 in the SJHL, simultaneously working in the Western Hockey League, SaskU18AAA, and the Prairie Junior B league.
The Nanaimo, BC native will wear the stripes in Arizona for the Coyotes-New Jersey Devils matchup, Apr. 12, 2022.
“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”.
As a 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. He went on to spend time in the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey Leagues, utilizing his 6-foot-5, 190-pound with energy and physicality.
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.
Here is a statement made by the National Hockey League Officials Association today:
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.