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.

RELATED: WHL’s Royals take next steps in building new roster

RELATED: Royals gear up for final day of training camp

RELATED: WHL veterans reflect on career with Victoria Royals

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

Team Canada athlete pens open letter to City of Victoria about Crystal Pool

Karmen McNamara says an extended closure of the recreation facility would be ‘devastating’

Bluegrass Christmas concert sparks season of giving

Tenth annual show and fundraiser held on Dec. 1 at Cordova Bay United Church

Victoria’s Wild ARC facility welcomes new roof thanks to a rush of donations

The animal rehabilitation centre was in desperate need of repairs after 21 years

Victoria’s vacancy rate predicted to rise above one per cent

Rental rates will continue to rise, despite more availability

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Most Read