It’s official: van Deventer breaking into WHL as a linesman

It’s official: van Deventer breaking into WHL as a linesman

Triple duties in three different demand a lot from Chemainus product’s time

Schooling plus considerable time spent traveling and on the ice equals a jam-packed schedule and many late nights for Chris van Deventer.

It’s all part of the process of moving up the ladder in hockey officiating for the 22-year-old while maintaining his studies.

Born in Nanaimo and living there again now, van Deventer spent 15 years in between living in Chemainus and graduated from Ladysmith Secondary School in 2013. He’s currently in the second year of studies in the Social Services program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.

But van Deventer’s main claim to fame right now is officiating and it’s been hectic, adding Western Hockey League duties in Victoria to his resume for the first time this season.

“Some weekends I have four games in a row or something,” he said. “It starts to consume your life a little bit.

“I try to make it to class Monday mornings, but you never know,” van Deventer quipped.

No one starts out officiating and, like everyone else, van Deventer was a hockey player first in the Cowichan Valley minor system at the age of seven. He played right through the minor hockey ranks and always enjoyed it enough to still go to drop-in whenever he can.

“I played rep when I was younger,” van Deventer indicated. “At the end, I was just playing Midget house hockey.

“I started concentrating more on reffing when I was 16,” he added.

Van Deventer had started officiating three years earlier, following in the skate blades of his brother Mike, who’s two years older.

“I kind of watched him do it,” said van Deventer. “I think once I turned 16-17, I wanted to get into doing Junior B. I saw my brother doing it.”

Mike eventually ended his officiating career with Junior B as his highest level while Chris has continued to progress.

“Once I got into Junior B, I saw how difficult it was going to be to move up to the BCHL and the Western League,” he explained.

Van Deventer began as a Junior B official at the age of 18.

“I started taking it more seriously,” he conceded. “You’re held very accountable, as opposed to minor hockey. I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily too many officials, but there are a lot of good officials so there’s competition.”

Van Deventer made his debut in the BCHL at age 20 and in the Western League this year. He’s currently refereeing games at the Junior B and BCHL levels and serving strictly as a WHL linesmen at Victoria Royals’ games so far.

“It’s kind of tough if you have a couple of games doing one thing and you go back to the other,” van Deventer explained of the referee and linesman switch. “I try to do both. You never know which one’s going to take you the farthest.

“I do see more of my potential as a linesman.”

The transition for players from one level to the next goes without saying, but it’s also experienced by officials.

“It was a lot faster, that’s for sure,” van Deventer recalled of his first BCHL game in Port Alberni.

His first WHL assignment in Victoria came Sept. 30.

“I’d heard it was tough to crack,” van Deventer pointed out.

He’s been getting two to three WHL games a month as time permits.

“It is a tough league to break into,” van Deventer indicated. “It’s a big difference in skill level. The speed of the game is really big. I’m still working at feeling comfortable at that level.”

He’s just started to travel off the Island for additional BCHL games one weekend a month and was in West Kelowna during mid-November.

“It’s always cool going to a different rink, getting a bit of a different environment,” van Deventer pointed out.

“You get tired of getting booed by the same fans,” he laughed.

For now, van Deventer wants to keep working hard and see where it takes him.

“It’s not that bad of a job, either,” he noted.

“If you can’t be one of the top players in the world, you’d might as well be on the ice with them.”

 

It’s official: van Deventer breaking into WHL as a linesman

Just Posted

Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduate Nina Bumstead. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Grad ceremony proceeds, with a twist

Red carpet outside works out well for Chemainus Secondary’s Class of 2021

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Chemainus street signs now contain Hul’qumi’num translations, like this one at the corner of Willow and Legion Streets. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Street signs go up in the Hul’qumi’num language

Chemainus intersections feature direct translations

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Most Read