Trail’s Travis Gawryletz is following in his older brother’s footsteps.
Brandon Gawryletz joined the NHL as an official in 2015 and has gone on to become a full-time linesman. Now Travis, 31, is hoping to do the same.
The younger Gawryletz played for the Trail Smoke Eaters from 2002-04 and was drafted in the eighth-round, 253rd overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
After playing college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth, he went on to play in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), American Hockey League (AHL), and in Europe. Once his playing career came to a close in 2014 with the ECHL Bakersfield Condors, Travis made the jump to officiating, working games in the Western Hockey League (WHL) until a call up to the AHL earlier this year.
Gawryletz suited up for his first AHL game on Mar. 17 in a match between the Rockford Ice Hogs and Manitoba Moose. The transition from playing to officiating hockey is often a long one; but, for Gawryletz, his progress through the ranks has been swift, a result of his excellent skating skills, fitness, and poise under pressure.
Hockey’s Future offered this scouting report on the former Smoke Eater.
“A calm, smooth skating defenseman, Travis Gawryletz is a perfectionist. While he does not lose sleep over poor play, Gawryletz does strive to play an error free game every single night he hits the ice. A careful player, he is very good at making the right decision in tense moments, and is patient enough to look for the right play rather than forcing a pass or throwing the puck away … You can tell he’s always thinking, always looking for the right place on the ice to be.”
Those skills have served him well in what is a physically and mentally demanding position, in a game where there are no line changes for officials.
In all, two referees and four linesmen will be joining the NHL officiating ranks, and include referees Corey Syvret and Reid Anderson, and linesmen Gawryletz, Andrew Smith, Libor Suchanek, and James Tobias.
According to the website, Scouting the Refs, Gawryletz has seen action in preseason games and is awaiting confirmation for the NHL officiating roster.
The first set of brothers to officiate an NHL game together were Paul and Greg Devorski, the Gawryletz brothers may be next.