Following a season in which he received two huge international assignments, Bevan Mills has been named BC Hockey’s Official of the Year.
The Surrey native worked as a linesman at both the World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal and Toronto last January, as well as the World Championships in May in the Czech Republic.
“The 2015 season may have been Bevan’s most impressive season to date,” announced BC Hockey during its awards banquet at its annual general meeting in Sun Peaks last weekend.
“It’s nearly unprecedented for a Canadian official to receive those two assignments in the same season.”
A linesmen in the BC Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, he has previously worked in the 2013 Memorial Cup in Saskatoon and the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon.
Mills, 27, credits his RBC Cup experience for moving his career forward. At that tournament in Vernon, he was selected to work the gold medal game between the Yorkton Terriers and Carleton Place Canadians, won 4-3 in overtime by Yorkton.
“At the start of every year, you set a goal to work as long into the season as you can,” Mills told Hockey Canada. “Being selected to work the championship game makes all the hard work and the time spent on the road away from home worth it.”
At the World Junior tournament last winter, he performed well enough to earn the assignment for the bronze medal game, a 4-2 win by Slovakia over Sweden in Toronto.
Following his season working two junior leagues, he was in Europe for the World Championships. He called the lines in six round robin games, a quarterfinal game, and the semifinal game between Alex Ovechkin’s Russian national team and the United States.
He was the lone Canadian at the tournament, which serves as another step towards his ultimate goal of landing a job with the National Hockey League (NHL).
“I have always dreamed of being in the NHL,” he said. “When I realized I wasn’t going to get there as a player, I shifted my focus to serving the game as an official. I hope to one day get the call from the NHL to have the opportunity to be on the ice as an official with the best players in the world.”