(Brayden Schuurman / Victoria Royals)

Victoria’s WHL team is Schuur to make some waves with this one!

Royals Brayden Schuurman was ranked 58th by the NHL’s central scouting bureau in their 2022 North American midseason rankings, proving the forward has been turning some heads in the big league.

The Abbotsford native ranks second on the team in both goals and points, tallying 17 goals, 9 assists, and 26 points thus far, and has scouts taking note of his strong goal scoring ability and high compete level.

Schuurman had been in great form of late, burying seven goals in his last 10 games, but the WHL has postponed 3 Royals games due to COVID-19. Games on January 8th, 11th, and 12th will all be played at another time – including two home games.

Schuurman taking advantage of Royals youth movement

The Royals are working on developing some home grown talent these days, and Schuurman thus far appears to be the cream of the crop. The Royals have had ten 16 or 17 year olds play at least 20 games this season, which is roughly half the squad. With an 11-3-2 record in the last 16 games, Victoria brass has to be thrilled with the progress of their youngsters.

Selected in the fourth round, 69th overall in the 2019 WHL bantam draft, Schuurman led his under-18 Yale Academy Prep squad in scoring the following year, playing the majority of the season as a 15 year old against older competition. Despite being 5’9, Schuurman is strong on his skates and displays no fear around the front of the goal mouth. If there’s a goal to be had, he’s willing to pay the price.

So far, Schuurman is 15th in league goal scoring, aided by a torrid late November/December run where he sniped 10 goals in 15 games. Goal scorers are always fun to watch, and with at least two more years of junior eligibility left, Royals fans will be enjoying Schuurman’s insatiable goalscoring appetite for the foreseeable future.

High possibility Schuurman could be second Royals player drafted to the NHL since 2017

Given his ranking of 58th in North America, and factoring in talented European prospects as well (who have their own set of rankings), Schuurman could go as early as the third round in the NHL’s seven round draft, but that’s anybody’s guess. Of course, he would have to maintain his strong play and also find himself ranked for the season’s final rankings, which, in a normal season, usually occur in April.

Nonetheless, if he hears his name called on draft day, he would join teammate Gannon Laroque as the second Royals player drafted to the NHL since 2017. Laroque was selected in the fourth round, 103rd overall in the 2021 draft by the San Jose Sharks, which happens to be where former Royal Noah Gregor is playing.

Overall, the Royals have had 11 players taken in the NHL draft, with four of them coming from a legendary 2016 crop that featured Matthew Phillips, Tyler Soy, Jack Walker, and Vladimir Bobylev. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Catch the talented Schuurman when the Royals return back home January 21st

As mentioned, the Royals have had three games postponed due to covid issues.

If all goes well, they’ll resume their season with a four game road trip from January 14th-19th.

The Royals will be back in action at home with a weekend set Friday, January 21st, against the Vancouver Giants, and a Saturday night battle against the Everett Silvertips.

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