James Tobias

NHLOA Member since 2017

Birthplace: Buffalo, NY

Regular Season: 326 Games

Playoffs: 5 Games

* Game numbers updated as of Oct 1, 2023

James Tobias

Tobias was born in Buffalo, NY and grew up just outside the “Nickel” city in the town of West Seneca, NY. He got involved in officiating at an early age, buying his first whistle at the age of 11 to earn some money for his future college education. As a player, Tobias played most of his career in the AAA levels for his local town team; the West Seneca Wings. The former forward decided to trade his stick for a whistle for good at the age of 18. Tobias journey to the NHL as an official had him working the NCAA, the Eastern College Athletic Conference and also the Atlantic Hockey League from 2013 to 2017. He would attend the NHL Exposure Combine Camp for the first time in the summer of 2015 and his performance at the camp was rewarded when he was hired by the American Hockey League (AHL) as a linesman for the following season, working some Rochester Americans and some Syracuse Crunch home games on top of his regular assignments with the three other leagues he was already working. He graduated in the spring of 2017 from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY with a degree in Biology and with a minor in Neuroscience and Psychology and attended for a second time the NHL Exposure Combine Officiating Camp that summer. Tobias was planning on continuing his education and become a brain surgeon when, NHL Director of Officiating, Stephen Walkom offered him an NHL minor leagues linesman contract in the summer of 2017. His passion for the game of hockey got the best of him and he decided to give it a try accepting the NHL offer.


First NHL Game

November 22, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs
Florida Panthers

First Playoff Game

April 17, 2023

LA Kings
Edmonton Oilers