Tonight, Michael Markovic from Scarborough, Ontario will be working his first NHL Regular Season game in Detroit, MI. when the New York Rangers visit the Red Wings. He will be joined on the ice by referee Dan O’Halloran while linesmen Greg Devorski and Andrew Smith will be working the lines.
Markovic grew up playing his minor hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). The former centerman went on to play a total of five seasons for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (2010-2015) where he graduated with a major in Human Geography in 2015. He is one of only 34 Varsity Blues players to have reached over 100 regular season career points. At the end of his last season with the Blues, he signed a contract the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) for the remaining of that season. That summer, after running into a friend involved in officiating at his local gym and with some convincing from his family, Markovic realized that his playing days were over and decided to stay involved in the game of hockey by picking up a whistle. His officiating journey officially started at the age of 25 when he signed up for the Canadian School of Hockey Officiating Summer Camp and immediately fell in love with this new challenge. He started by officiating minor hockey in the GTHL and also worked in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). His on-ice skills were recognized early on and only after one full season of officiating he found himself working in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and also got a few assignments in the American Hockey League (AHL) as a linesman. In the summer of 2017, Markovic decided to make the transition from linesman to becoming a referee as he felt it was better suited for him. He spent the 2017-18 season working the OHL and AHL but this time as a referee. His on-ice performances were again recognized when he was invited to participate in the 2017 CHL/NHL Officiating Development Camp that November, a program aimed at supporting and enhancing the development of current CHL officials in cooperation with the National Hockey League. He attended the 2018 NHL Exposure Combine in Buffalo, NY the following summer where he made great impression on the NHL Officiating recruiting staff. He was offered a minor leagues referee contract by the National Hockey League that same summer at the age of 29.
The NHLOA and its members would like to congratulate Michael on his first NHL game and wish him a long and successful career.