Royals centre Tyler Lees looks to make a pass while being defended against by Vancouver Giants’ James Malm in pre-season Western Hockey League action last weekend in Langley. The Royals open their regular season Sept. 21 at home against the Prince George Cougars. victoriaroyals.com

Royals solid in WHL pre-season games, now gear for home opener

Prince George Cougars, 3-2 winners Sunday, in Victoria for hockey rematch Sept. 21-22

With pre-season exhibition games now in the rear view mirror, the Victoria Royals set their sights on their home and season opener weekend.

The Western Hockey League team is still in the process of setting their roster, with just over a week to go before their first games, Sept. 21 and 22 against the Prince George Cougars.

The Royals shored up the defence on Monday, acquiring 1999-born Jameson Murray and a 10th-round pick in the 2019 WHL bantam draft from the Everett Silvertips, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2019. Murray has 70 games under his belt over two seasons split between Calgary and Everett, with a goal and five assists to his credit.

Another newcomer, 2000-born forward Brandon Cutler, who came over from Red Deer, was in the lineup for the last three of Victoria’s pre-season games, recording three assists. Two of those came in a 3-2 loss to Prince George in Langley last Sunday.

The Royals had crafted a 4-0 pre-season record before the defeat.’s mini-tournament They posted wins over Kelowna (6-5 in OT) and Kamloops (4-2) in their opening weekend, then beating Vancouver (5-3) and Everett (7-1) to start last weekend’s mini tournament in Langley.

1999-born right winger D-Jay Jerome, who didn’t see a lot of playing time in 13 games with Victoria after being acquired from Prince Albert last January, showed he plans on making an impact for the Royals this season. His 10 pre-season points (five goals, five assists) led all Victoria skaters.

Rookie centre Philip Schultz was next in goals with four and he tied Tyler Lees for second in points with five. Royals veteran Dante Hannoun tallied four points in just two games, while rookie defenceman Remy Aquilon, groomed last year with some late season and playoff playing time, notched four assists to lead all blueliners.

Sturdy d-man Mitchell Prowse topped the plus-minus chart with a plus-5 rating, while chalking up two assists.

The Royals continue practice for the next week at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Game times next Friday and Saturday night are 7:05 p.m.

Campers await assignments … Victoria Royals players who can still technically return as overage players are at the tail end of rookie training camps with the various NHL clubs that drafted them. Among the forwards, Matthew Phillips (three assists in a 7-3 rookie game win over Edmonton on Sunday) is in Calgary, Tanner Kaspick is with St. Louis, Lane Zablocki is in Detroit and defenceman Scott Walford, currently on the injured list, remains with Montreal.

The eventual placement of all four has yet to be determined, but if any of their NHL rights holders choose to send them back for another season of junior, it will make things tricky for the Royals management, who already have three overage players on the roster in Griffen Outhouse, Dante Hannoun and defenceman Ralph Jarratt.

Plan your season strategy … Royals full- and half-season ticket holders, along with those purchasing Great Eight Fan Pack tickets, are invited to meet the players at a special ticket pickup night event Thursday (Sept. 13) at Gate 1 of the arena. Complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be available, and fans can pick up their Griffen Outhouse bobblehead gift.

To find out more about season ticket and other packages, visit victoriaroyals.com/tickets.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. Coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Search and rescue piggybacks plucky injured senior out of Comox Valley woods

Rescue crews don’t have same success with dog swept away by river

Canadian Cancer Society stops accepting hair donations

A switch to synthetic wigs will lighten costs for cancer patients

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

3 random words mark every spot on earth in innovative mapping system

World map assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

Most Read