The WHL sent seven officials to the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, and among those was Martensville’s Levi Schutz. He was the only official sent from Saskatchewan. This was such a great development opportunity for the seven officials. Kevin Muench, senior director of officiating in the WHL, explained how the games are a training ground for those wanting to advance their officiating careers as Scouts were in attendance for players as well as officials.
Schutz is presently officiating primarily Junior hockey in the SJHL and WHL this season. He also officiates University CIS games and was recently selected to officiate the Canada West CIS finals in Saskatoon. The U of S Huskies hosted the Alberta Golden Bears on March 1-3 in a best of three game series.
His future goals are to once again officiate the SJHL finals and hopefully the WHL finals as well. Their performance in their remaining games determines whether they will be selected for these finals.
Schutz was chosen to participate in the Officiating Program of Excellence this past summer in Vancouver. This was an opportunity for the selected officials to be evaluated by both the NHL and IHF officiating programs. This event is used as a stepping stone to work National and International championships. Schutz received his level five as an official and is working towards his level six designation which is the highest level in Hockey Canada. Linesmen in the NHL need level five while head referees need to obtain a level six.
Schutz had the opportunity to work eight games at the Canada Winter games including the finals. Every game was supervised by a Manager of Officials for Hockey Canada who determined which officials worked the playoffs based on their performance. “It was amazing how all of the officials in attendance formed an immediate bond and it became a team atmosphere even through language barriers”, commented Schutz. “It was great to work with the top officials in Canada and I was grateful to have the opportunity to be there”, continued Schutz. The Canada Games is another accolade to add to his resume for future International assignments. Levi is currently attending the University of Saskatchewan finishing up his undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology. His aim is to get into a professional school next year to pursue his passion for medicine. Good Luck to Schutz in his future endeavours.