The Victoria Royals will host their final two-game set of the season this coming weekend, hosting the Prince George Cougars Friday and Saturday night.
Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. Friday, and 6:05 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are still available for both games.
The Royals, who are winless in their last 8, will look to find a positive spin for the remainder of the season as their young group continues to gain valuable experience. Barring a miracle, the playoffs will not be in the cards this season.
If head coach and general manager Dan Price’s Royals are to take any meaningful steps toward contention next year, the team’s offensive output will need to increase.
The days of Tyler’s Soy’s consistent excellence are a thing of the past, and Matthew Phillips has been dangling and dazzling in the American Hockey League for quite some time now.
The team’s top two leading scorers this year – namely Jake Poole and Teague Patton – are overaged players and will not be back next season.
Poole has been excellent, burying 28 goals and 27 assists in 48 games this year, while Patton has played the role of playmaker with 13 goals and 30 assists through 61 games.
Price has talked about the 2004 and 2005 born players as the group management intends to build around as part of the team’s ascension back to contention. Those players will be 18 and 19 years old next season, and will need to take a step forward if this team is to have any chance of taking a meaningful jump in the standings.
Here are three forwards to keep an eye on for next season:
Reggie Newman, Right Wing
Reggie Newman broke in with the Royals last year as a 16-year-old, and put up a solid 4 goals and 15 points in 57 games. Newman has good size at 6 feet tall, and has had a solid, yet unspectacular follow up to his rookie year. Although playing on a struggling team won’t do anyone’s stat sheet any favours.
So far, the Royals’ 4th round pick in 2020 has doubled his career high in goals with 8, and has added 12 assists for 20 points in 44 games. He’s also been playing with a chip on his shoulder this year, racking up 73 penalty minutes, 2nd on the team and top 40 in the league.
We’re not sure if Newman will become a top liner in the future, but, if he can become a contributing top six winger over time, the Royals will have drafted and developed a valuable member of their core.
Teydon Trembecky, Left Wing
Teydon Trembecky joined the Royals midseason this year, after being acquired in a trade from the Brandon Wheat Kings on November 24th. A former 3rd round pick, Trembecky is an offensive minded player who has fit in well with the Royals. After tallying a mere assist in 19 games with the Wheat Kings this season, Trembecky has capitalized on increased opportunity in Victoria, scoring 10 goals and 18 points through 39 games thus far.
“Teydon brings qualities we really covet in a player, and we have been following his development,” Price said at the time of acquisition.
“Quality of character, competitiveness, hockey IQ and vision on the ice are phrases which those who know him use when describing him.”
Cole Reschny, Centre
Selected 3rd overall in 2022, Reschny represents the highest draft pick the Royals have ever selected, and with it, ideally the type of skillset that is hard to find in other parts of the draft. Which is high end skill. And lots of it.
So far, it’s been going pretty well. Reschny didn’t look out of place in a 5 game cup of coffee earlier in the year with the team, where he scored his first career WHL goal. More recently, the skilled centre was named the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League Rookie of the Year after electrifying the league with 23 goals, 42 assists, and 65 points in just 34 games – a rate of 1.91 points per game.
Despite the Royals being in the basement of the league for the past few years, Reschny represents the only top 3 pick the franchise has been able to select in its relatively short history. The Royals’ first round draft choice in 2021 would have been 3rd overall as well, but they had shipped it out in a previous trade to acquire Tanner Kaspick way back in 2018.