The Western Hockey League 2015-16 season is well under way and the Royals are playing well in their fifth season in Victoria.
You’ve read and seen lots of coverage of veteran players and newcomers but what about former Royals — where are they now?
When players make the NHL they have a high profile, but we seldom see stories on the athletes in other leagues.
Take Brandon Magee. The feisty high scoring Royal finished his junior career last season. He started off this year at the Dallas Stars training camp, skating with Victoria-native and NHL star Jamie Benn. He didn’t make the big club but is having a strong start to the season playing for the Idaho Steelheads in the East Coast Hockey League.
Travis Brown finished his career with the Royals last year as well. He signed a two way contract with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, participated in most of their training camp but was bumped out after NHL camps finished. He’s now on the ice for the ECHL’s Brampton Beast.
What about other players?
Big defenceman Keegan Kanzig, traded to the Calgary Hitmen last year and property of the Calgary Flames, is spending this season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat.
Kevin Sundher played for the Royals in their first season in Victoria. He spent three years playing for the AHL’s Rochester Americans but this year is on the roster for the Reading Royals in the ECHL.
Ben Walker, older brother of current Royal Jack Walker, played 36 games last year for the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps and this year is with the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL.
Greg Chase is with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
Logan Nelson is on the Quad City Mallards roster in the ECHL.
The career path athletes take can be varied and some guys never quit.
David Shantz played goal for the Victoria Salmon Kings, our former ECHL team, in the 2009-11 seasons. He appears to have been out of hockey at the pro level since then but this year is back in the ECHL with the Wichita Thunder.