Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography
Spencer Knox gets the opportunity to realize his World Juniors dream from a different perspective.
Like any young Canadian hockey fan, he would spend hours as a kid during the holidays watching the annual tournament.
Growing up in Clarington, Knox split time as a player between the Toros and CRHL. As his minor hockey days came to an end, he began officiating as a way to stay in the game. In 2013, when he was 15 years old, he decided to don the stripes for the first time and hasn’t looked back since.
“For me, refereeing was never to make money. I just tried it because I have such passion for hockey in general.”
Even while studying at Georgian College in Barrie, Knox still found time to officiate minor hockey in the area. His commitment to his craft led to opportunities with the Ontario Hockey Association, and presently with the Ontario Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
Knox was also recently recognized by Hockey Canada, selected to attend the National High Performance Camp this past October. Now, he can add the IIHF to his resume as he will be part of the World Juniors officiating crew when the puck drops on Boxing Day.
“It’s the biggest honour I’ve ever received. I know I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity and I recognize this is a big deal for me. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and sometimes I’m at a loss for words when I’m asked about it.”
Knox is looking forward to collaborating with the other officials from around the world who will be descending upon the Maritimes before the opening game.
He credits his experiences officiating as helping to develop his leadership and communication skills, among others.
“Professionalism and attention to detail are very important, as well as work ethic. It’s important to be consistent and at your highest level every single game. There are so many things I’ve learned from refereeing that I apply in my daily life.”
Upon reflecting on the foundation his time officiating in minor hockey gave him, Knox has used those lessons to grow on and off the ice. He was a member of the officiating crew in Canada's opening game against Czechia and is looking forward to where the rest of the journey takes him.
“My end goal is to try to get to the NHL as an official. Growing up in Canada, playing minor hockey and on my backyard rink, I always dreamed of playing in the NHL. Once I transitioned to refereeing and fell in love with it, now my goal has changed to making the NHL as an official.”
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