Brenk, a native of Detroit Lake, MN is a former professional hockey player. He was selected in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers in the 5th round (#154 overall). He skated in six different leagues (8 teams total) during his playing career. The former forward played for the Minnesota State University from 2001-2005 where he collected 16 goals and 32 assists over 120 games in the WCHA. From 2005 to 2010, he played in five different leagues; the UHL (Adirondack Frosbite), the CHL (New Mexico Scorpions), the ECHL (Greenville Grrrowl & Pensacola Ice Pilots) and played oversea in the Netherlands (Nijmegen Emperors & Geleen Smoke Eaters) with his final season in Germany with the Dortmund EHC in 2009-2010. Once his playing career over, Brenk traded his stick for a whistle and it didn’t took him too long before he reached the professional level as an official. After a stint with the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) as a referee, he moved on to work in the Central Hockey League (CHL) where he had the honor of being selected to work the 2014 CHL Final. That same summer, Jake attended the 2014 NHL Exposure Combine, which looked to develop officials and promote the transition of former players into officials. His performance at the Combine earned him to spend the 2014-15 season working the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL). He was hired under a minor leagues referee contract by the NHL in the summer of 2015. On the morning of November 12th, 2015 while he was on a road trip in San Diego, CA to work the American Hockey League, Brenk got the big call he has been waiting for. Referee Dave Jackson who was assigned to work a game that night in Glendale, AZ was diagnosed in that same morning with an injury forcing the NHL to make an emergency call up to one of their minor league contracted officials to replace the veteran official. Brenk jumped in a plane, flew to Arizona, got to the hotel in mid-afternoon before making his NHL debut that night working the team that drafted him 14 years before, the Edmonton Oilers against the Arizona Coyotes. He went on to spend the next two seasons under a minor league referee contract before being promoted to a full time referee status in the summer of 2017.
First NHL Game
November 12, 2015