Saturday, February 24, 2018

A look at this year’s WHL Victoria Royals

October 1, 2013 by Jason Schreurs, managing editor

With a record of two wins and three losses heading into October, the Victoria Royals are set for another year of growth since entering the Western Hockey League and moving to our city three seasons ago. Year three in Victoria could be the hockey team’s make-it-or-break-it time in the league.

Here’s a quick look at this year’s Royals team:

Look for forward Logan Nelson to lead the Royals team in offence this year (photo by Jon Howe/Victoria Royals).

Look for forward Logan Nelson to lead the Royals team in offence this year (photo by Jon Howe/Victoria Royals).

Rising star:
With five points in five games so far, this is Buffalo Sabres draft pick Logan Nelson’s year to shine. As the 20-year-old heads into his final season in the WHL the hope is that his on-ice play continues to outshine his amazing mullet-style hairdo.

Holding down the fort:
Defenceman Joe Hicketts should be the point-man to watch this year. In three September games he had two points and was a stellar +4. If his experience playing with Team Canada’s under-18 team last year rubbed off, he should have a stellar year.

Between the pipes:
Although Czech goalie Patrik Polivka should get more help this year from returning backup Coleman Vollrath, he’s still the guy to hold this Royals team together. Last year Polivka was on fire and only looked to be getting better by playoff time. This could be his breakout year.

Royals goal production could be up this year if wingers Austin Carroll and Brandon Fushimi keep up their September pace. Carroll, who was a hat-trick king last year, has three goals so far in five games, while the diminutive Fushimi has two. And, in the spirit of the legendary Gordie Howe, Carroll added 15 minutes in penalties.

Brandon Magee is now a Royals veteran, believe it or not (photo by Jon Howe/Victoria Royals).

Ol’ reliable:
Hard to believe that star forward Brandon Magee is now a Royals veteran, but there he is, in his final year with the team. Watch for more clutch offensive play from him this year.

It’s Crunk time:
In only four games played during September, feisty 18-year-old left winger Taylor Crunk already has 16 penalty minutes. Those are bordering on old-school enforcer numbers!

Play the man, not the puck:
Man, rough starts for defenceman Brett Cote and left-winger Jack Walker. Both are -6 in five games played during September.

Win some:
Lanky 17-year-old defenceman Jake Kohlhauser came over from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for a conditional draft pick. In two games played so far he has zero points and is -2, but his back-end brawn will be good for the team.

Lose some:
Rough-and-tumble defenceman Kolton Dixon, who had three assists and 51 penalty minutes last year as a Royal, was traded to the Red Deer Rebels for a conditional draft pick.

Best player names:
It’s a tie between centre Landon Welykholowa, who’s name we can’t even try to pronounce (how did they fit that on his sweater?) and the simply but strangely named centre Tyler Soy, who we can only assume is named after the band Soy, one of Victoria’s best ever punk/metal groups.

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