|City||Victoria, British Columbia|
|League||Western Hockey League|
|Home arena||Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre|
|General manager||Cam Hope|
|Head coach||Dave Lowry|
The Victoria Royals are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team currently members of the B.C. Division of the Western Conference in the Western Hockey League (WHL). The team began play during the 2011–12 season after the League announced the relocation of the Chilliwack Bruins to Victoria. It marked the return of the WHL to Vancouver Island, 17 years after the departure of the Victoria Cougars. The Royals are based in Victoria, British Columbia, and play their home games at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Their current captain is defensemen, Ryan Gagnon.
Relocation and inaugural season in Victoria
Victoria was left without a WHL team when the Cougars franchise relocated to Prince George in 1994. The city acquired a professional ECHL team in the Victoria Salmon Kings in 2004 when the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre was opened, but the city had made inquiries about returning the WHL to Vancouver Island in the past.
While two minority owners of the Chilliwack Bruins hoped to purchase the team and keep it in Chilliwack following the 2010–11 season, they were outvoted by the remaining partners who opted to sell the team to a group planning to relocate the franchise. On April 20, 2011, the WHL announced the approval of both the sale, and the relocation of the Bruins to Victoria.
The relocation was brought about partially by the WHL's desire to protect the Victoria market, as the League feared that a potential summer relocation of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg could result in the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Manitoba Moose moving to Victoria. The Moose ultimately moved to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, where they are now known as the IceCaps, when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg to become the second incarnation of the Jets.
The Royals played their first game, a 5–2 loss against the Vancouver Giants in Vancouver on September 23, 2011. They won their first game in franchise history on September 24, 2011, defeating the Giants 5–3, in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,006 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.
On March 16, 2012, the Royals defeated the Portland Winterhawks 3–1, thus clinching their first ever playoff berth and the first in Victoria since 1989. The first-ever playoff goal was scored by Robin Soudek, while Jamie Crooks recorded the first playoff hat-trick in Royals history in Game 3. In spite of this, the Royals were swept in the first round by the Kamloops Blazers.
On June 22, 2012, Marc Habscheid, the first head coach and general manager of the Royals, left both positions to take an executive position with GSL Holdings Ltd., the parent company of the Royals' ownership group. The Royals named Cam Hope, formerly an assistant general manager of the NHL's New York Rangers, as their new GM on July 6.
Updated February 23, 2017
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|2011–12||72||24||41||3||4||233||325||55||4th B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final (0–4, KAM)|
|2012–13||72||35||30||2||5||223||252||77||3rd B.C.||Lost Western Conference quarter-final (2–4, KAM)|
|2013–14||72||48||20||1||3||238||181||100||2nd B.C.||Won Western Conference quarter-final (4–0, SPO)
Lost Western Conference semi-final (1–4, POR)
|2014–15||72||39||29||3||1||244||219||82||2nd B.C.||Won Western Conference quarter-final (4–1, PRG)
Lost Western Conference semi-final (1–4, KEL)
|2015–16||72||50||16||3||3||281||166||106||1st B.C.||Won Western Conference quarter-final (4–2, SPO)
Lost Western Conference semi-final (3–4 KEL)
|2016–17||72||37||29||5||1||239||219||80||4th B.C.||In progress|
NHL Draft Picks
The following is a list of players drafted from the Victoria Royals by NHL teams.
Note: The list does not include players drafted from the Chilliwack Bruins, or players acquired by the Royals that were already drafted while with a previous team. The list also does not include undrafted players who subsequently signed as free agents with NHL clubs.
- Steven Hodges (Drafted by Florida Panthers in 2012, 3rd round, 84th overall)
- Logan Nelson (Drafted by Buffalo Sabres in 2012, 5th round, 133rd overall)
- Keegan Kanzig (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2013, 3rd round, 67th overall)
- Austin Carroll (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2014; 7th round, 184th overall)
- Chaz Reddekopp (Drafted by Los Angeles Kings in 2015, 7th round, 187th overall)
- Vladimir Bobylev (Drafted by Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016, 5th round, 122nd overall)
- Jack Walker (Drafted by Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016, 6th round, 152nd overall)
- Matthew Phillips (Drafted by Calgary Flames in 2016, 6th round, 166th overall)
- Tyler Soy (Drafted by Anaheim Ducks in 2016, 7th round, 205th overall)
Note: The following club records do not include statistics from the Chilliwack Bruins and are complete through the end of the 2015–16 WHL season.
- Most goals, 50, Matthew Phillips, 2016–17
- Most assists, 60, Alex Forsberg, 2015–16
- Most points, 91, Alex Forsberg, 2015–16
- Most penalty minutes: 159, Keegan Kanzig, 2012–13
- Best goals against average, 1.82, Griffen Outhouse, 2015–16
- Most shutouts, 6, Coleman Vollrath, 2014–15
- Most games played, goaltender: 63, Griffen Outhouse, 2016–17
- Most saves, goaltender: 1,829, Griffen Outhouse, 2016–17
- Most goals: 115, Tyler Soy, 2012–17
- Most assists: 147, Jack Walker, 2012–17
- Most points: 248, Jack Walker, 2012–17
- Most penalty minutes: 470, Austin Carroll, 2011–15
- Most games played, skater: 320, Ryan Gagnon, 2012–17
- Best goals against average: 1.82, Griffen Outhouse, 2015–16
- Most shutouts: 8, Coleman Vollrath, 2012–16 and Griffen Outhouse, 2015–17
- Most games played, goaltender: 165, Coleman Vollrath, 2012–16
- Most saves, goaltender: 4,072, Coleman Vollrath, 2012–16
Awards and honours
Brad Hornung Trophy
WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player
- Tyler Soy: 2015–16
Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
WHL Coach of the Year
Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
WHL Rookie of the Year
- Matthew Phillips: 2015–16
Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
WHL Executive of the Year
- Cam Hope: 2013–14
WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team
WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team
- Epp, Sharie (2011-04-01). "Western Hockey League's Bruins moving to Victoria: report". Victoria Times-Colonist. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Olsen, Tyler (2011-04-01). "Keith confirms Bruins have been sold, confidentiality agreements now in place". Chlliwack Times. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Olsen, Tyler (2011-04-20). "WHL's Chilliwack Bruins are no more, moving to Victoria". Chilliwack Times. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Maki, Allan (2011-04-20). "Phoenix failure felt as far away as Victoria". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- "Victoria Royals 2016 - 17 Regular Season". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "Victoria Royals all-time player roster". hockeyDB.com. Retrieved March 20, 2016.