January 28, 2013 - 2:59pmUpdated: January 28, 2013 - 4:22pm
It’s going to be special night for one Kindersley man as he steps onto the ice to referee his first NHL game as Edmonton plays host to Colorado.
It’s been a long road for 28-year-old Graham Skilliter and he’s looking forward to see his dream finally fulfilled.
“Once I fell asleep last night I was fine, but I did toss and turn for quite a bit thinking about tonight,” said Skilliter.
“It’s been something I’ve been dreaming about for some time now and I’m just looking forward to that puck finally dropping.”
Skilliter got into officiating at a young age, following his dad who was an official as well. He said he just wanted to be on the ice following in his dad’s footsteps and to make some extra money.
Skilliter said while he saw success at an early age, it’s been a tough process.
Photo of Skilliter courtesy NHL.com.
“It’s been a big commitment,” said Skilliter.
“It’s a lot of support from family, friends and co-workers throughout the years. I’ve missed family events. I moved down to the U.S. for a year to chase the dream. I’ve put a lot of miles on the road. It’s tough, but when you’re chasing a dream it seems easier.”
Skilliter said he knows he has a lot of work in front of him but hopes tonight is the first of a thousand more games to come in the NHL.