The Victoria Royals have taken significant strides in strengthening their front office ahead of the 2023-24 WHL season, announcing the hiring’s of Joey Poljanowski as Vice President of Hockey Operations and Jake Heisinger as Associate General Manager.
Joey Poljanowski, who comes with an impressive resume in hockey operations, stepped into his new role on July 1st.
Prior to joining the Royals, he served as the Manager of Hockey Operations for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes since 2019.
Poljanowski’s hockey career spans over 15 years, during which he held crucial positions with renowned organizations like Hockey Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the London Knights.
Royals’ owner, Graham Lee, expressed his excitement about the new hiring, stating, “Joey brings a wealth of experience and expertise in hockey operations, along with a profound passion for sports and a strategic mindset that will be instrumental in driving success for the organization.”
Lee also acknowledged Poljanowski’s proven track record in various hockey operations roles across the NHL and OHL.
Poljanowski himself shared his enthusiasm for joining the Royals, stating, “It’s incredible how much potential this team has in Victoria. There is so much good to build upon. I am excited to provide an additional lens and perspective and to work shoulder to shoulder with all of our internal and external stakeholders in preparation for an exciting 2023-24 season and beyond.”
With Poljanowski’s arrival, Dan Price, the former Vice President of Hockey Operations, will now focus exclusively on his role as Head Coach.
“Joey is such a tremendous addition to the Royals organization,” said Price.
“He’s highly motivated, passionate, and knowledgeable, and our first few meetings have been very exciting. I and the rest of the staff can’t wait to dig into the workload with him, and I know our players will feel the same way when they arrive in Victoria in August.”
In a subsequent press release, the Victoria Royals announced the hiring of Jake Heisinger as Associate General Manager.
The organization said Heisinger brings a wealth of experience and expertise from his tenure with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice, where he served as Vice President of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager since 2020.
His primary responsibility will be scouting and player development, an area he excelled in with the Ice, helping to identify and nurture top talents like Connor Geekie, Matthew Savoie, Carson Lambos, and Zach Benson.
Before venturing into the Hockey Operations side of the sport, Heisinger had a successful playing career, both in major junior and NCAA III hockey.
Heisinger’s vision for the Royals is to create a competitive, winning culture for the team.
“We want to be a fast, skilled team that works hard and competes every night,” Heisinger emphasized. He also acknowledged the talent within the organization and expressed his determination to foster internal competition, encouraging players to push each other for ice time.
Both Poljanowski and Heisinger share a common vision for the Victoria Royals’ future, aiming to elevate the team’s status in the CHL and become one of the top programs in the league.
The Victoria Royals will kick off their 2023-24 season on September 22nd, where they will take on the Vancouver Giants in Langley. Their first home game of the season will take place on September 29th against Prince George Cougars— see all home games here.