Matthew Phillips back in the Royals line-up Friday
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It is difficult to image a five-foot and six-inch, 137-pound hockey player getting an opportunity to participate in a National Hockey League training camp, but that is what Victoria Royals forward Matthew Phillips got this summer. He was invited to the rookie camp with the Calgary Flames, the team that drafted him in the sixth round during the 2016 NHL Draft.
Luckily for the Victoria Royals, the 2015-2016 Western Hockey League Rookie of the Year was re-assigned back to junior.
The Royals, the defending regular season champs who entered the 2016-2017 season ranked in the top-10 of all major-junior teams in Canada – in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) – are off to an 0-2 start after losing back-to-back home games to open the season.
Prince George, a more veteran team defeated the Royals 3-1, then 5-1 Friday and Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Both teams have several players in NHL camps. Still with their respective teams are Chaz Reddekopp with the Los Angeles Kings, Tyler Soy, across town with the Anaheim Ducks and Jack Walker in Toronto with the Maple Leafs.
Phillips last year put up solid numbers with 76 points on 37 goals. He plays with tenacity and is quick in small spaces.
The Royals next game takes place Friday, September 30th at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.