The Junior Hockey League announces the officials to work in Tula on December 3, 2023.
The referees for the game played by the best JHLers will be Maxim Ugryumov and Valery Yakimov. They will be joined by linesmen Alexei Arkhipov and Daniil Novikov.
Played for Tyumen Gazovik and Rubin. Having retired in 2016, he received an offer from his former teammate from the sports school to officiate a game, and that was how Maxim started off his officiating journey. He began to work as a linesman in the JHL in the 2017/18 season, and became a referee in the 2020/21 season. During this time, he has officiated 186 regular-season games, two play-in games and 15 playoff games, including Game 2 of the 2022/23 Kharlamov Cup final between Omskie Yastreby and Chaika (6-2). In 2023, he became the best referee of the U18 tournament.
– I am glad to be entrusted to work at the Challenge Cup, we will make sure to enjoy such a bright event. We don’t feel jittery, because the officials are to do their job like during any other game.
Started playing hockey in Nizhnekamsk, where he was with Neftekhimik’s minor teams, later played for Novocheboksarsk Sokol. After retirement in 2017, Yakimov was offered to officiate games at a children’s tournament, and he continued to do this job. As a referee, he participated in the U17 tournament. The 2023/24 season is Yakimov’s fifth year in the JHL. He has worked 162 regular-season games, one play-in game and 14 playoff games, including Game 3 and Game 6 of the 2022/23 Kharlamov Cup final.
– It was before the game in Tolyatti when I found out I would be a member of the on-ice crew for the Challenge Cup. During the warmup, my colleagues approached me, told me about it and congratulated me. It was a nice piece of news to hear. I will step on the ice and enjoy my amazing job, as I always do.
Started playing hockey in St. Petersburg, where he also played for SKA’s minor teams. After finishing his playing career, Alexei still wanted his life to be connected with hockey, so he decided to become an official. He worked his first game at the St. Petersburg tournament in 2019, and made his JHL debut in the 2020/21 season. Arkhipov totals 81 regular-season games, two play-in games and 13 playoff games, including Game 2 of the 2022/23 final.
– I was surprised to know that I had been selected to officiate the Challenge Cup game. There are many good linesmen in the League, it is nice that I am to work the game. I am glad to be entrusted to participate in the event. I am not worried, because we still have almost a month and many games to work before the Challenge Cup, so now I am preparing for them. I look forward to a pleasant atmosphere, because Tula loves hockey and many fans come to watch games. We shall expect a full building for such an event.
Started playing hockey in Novomoskovsk, and later played for minor teams of Stupino Kapitan. After finishing his playing career, Daniil decided to become an official. From 2020, he was officiating amateur games, children’s tournaments and Night Hockey League games in parallel to his university studies. In the 2021/22 season, he started to work JHL games. He has officiated 59 regular-season games, five playoff games and one play-in game.
– When I was still a player, I would always watch the KHL All-Star Game and the Challenge Cup. I wished I would become a part of these events, and here I am now. I was happy to hear that I had been picked, I am thankful to the management for choosing me. The 2023/24 season is a very interesting one, all teams have good players, so the Challenge Cup game will be a hard-fought one, I am sure that my colleagues and I will be kept busy.
Maxim Ugryumov and Alexei Arkhipov split their time between the JHL and the VHL. They had a good training camp and have been working hard to keep progressing. They are doing good job and do have potential to become Kontinental Hockey League referees. Valery Yakimov was also recommended for the VHL officiating team. He has not made it yet, but we hope that it will happen after the 2023/24 season. He is a former hockey player, a promising specialist who should be able to keep up with KHL officials in the future. Daniil Novikov is a tall linesman, he gets to know the profession better and strives to become one of the officials to be recommended for the VHL. The four worked playoff games and did a good job. We decided to give them an opportunity to officiate the game played by the best JHLers. I believe, it is a good piece of news for the guys and they will enjoy the new stage of their career.
Anatoly Zakharov, Junior Hockey League refereeing department director
Tula becomes the host city for Junior Hockey League Challenge Cup for the first time. The event will be held on December 3, 2023 within the framework of Fonbet All-Star Week. Women’s All-Star Game is scheduled for December 2. Challenge Cup tickets are available for purchase at allstarweek.com and Yandex Afisha. 2023 KHL Skills competition and Fonbet All-Star Game will be hosted by SKA-Arena in Saint Petersburg on December 9 and 10.