Congratulations to Hockey Ref Shop's November Official of the Month, Dylan Freed! The purpose of the Official of the Month program is to give one of many hardworking officials recognition for their dedication to the game of hockey.Name: Dylan FreedAge: 18
Hometown: Simi Valley, CA
Current Town: Fullerton, CA
Years of officiating experience: 4 years of officiating
What do you enjoy doing outside of officiating?"Outside of officiating, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling around the country and playing hockey."
When and why did you start officiating?"I started officiating back in the year 2015. I was a player in the LAKHSHL and knew I wasn't going anywhere as a player. I wanted to stay involved in the game long after high school and officiating was my answer. That season I started my officiating career and have loved it ever since."
What is your most memorable game ever officiated? What made it memorable?"My most memorable game I've ever officiated was this past year, I got to officiate a 16U Tier I game between the Jr. Ducks and Jr. Coyotes. It was my first 16U Tier I game as the referee. It was extremely fast hockey with great skill, I absolutely loved it. It made me work and that was the game that taught me, I am good enough to skate high level games. That was the day I realized I belong here and that I will take it one game at a time, learn from my mistakes and continue to get better every day. It definitely made me realize I can do whatever I set my mind to."
Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?"I always arrive to the rink one hour before game time, no matter the level. I go outside and jog around the rink, stretch out while listening to music making sure I'm loose and focused so that I am ready to go. When in the locker room before game time, I always talk about procedure to make sure we are all on the same page looking good out there as a team."
What are your goals for this season and the future?"My two goals for this season are -1) Referee a State Final2) Referee a National Final.My goal for the future is to one day Referee in the National Hockey League."
Why would you say people should try officiating?"I recommend people to try officiating to see what we go through day in and day out. Many people don't realize how much we put into the game. We try our best every game, making sure the players and everyone involved are all safe and enjoying the game we all love. We as officials do not have an easy job but I wouldn't trade this job for the world. Officiating is also a great way to stay involved in the game, and as a former player, I didn't want to just walk away from the game. This was the perfect transition."
What advice would you give to a new official just starting?"The big piece of advice I'd give to a beginner official is, be confident. We lose to many officials due to rude coaches and parents. Be confident in yourself. Trust me, it is not an easy thing to do, but having confidence makes you feel like you belong. One more thing, is to always try your best every game and make sure you are having fun. Having fun is what it is all about. Officiating has given me so many amazing memories and has given me many amazing friends I would never have met if I hadn't tried it. The memories and friends are what it is all about. Always have fun and enjoy it while you can."
Pants: Steven All-In One Referee Pants
Whistle: Fox 40
Shin Tights: CCM
Protective: Shin guards, elbow pads and cup.
If you would like to nominate someone for Official of the Month, we encourage you to send us their name and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep skating hard and stay safe this hockey season!