Tyler Soy drew a lot of the attention on Wednesday night as the top 2012 WHL Bantam Draft pick to participate in the Victoria Royals annual Intra-squad game.
And mostly, he didn’t disappoint.
Soy played for Team White, which defeated Team Blue 3-2.
Soy’s individual skills were evident all over the rink though most of his shot attempts were deflected into the stands. Likely a matter of jitters and timing for Soy, who looked like he was trying to force some offence in the one-off game. Linemate Trent Lofthouse showed some WHL patience around the net as the two managed some chemistry and were the most exciting line on the ice.
Soy managed an assist on Trenthouse’s goal, as they caught the defence out of position and peppered Blue goalie Coleman Volerath with shots in tight until Lofthose popped one through.
But the play of the night came from 2012 second round pick Matthew Campese, who was one of four 16-year-olds to earn a bye through the rookie camp, along with Soy, Chaz Reddekop (lower body injury) and Reagan Nagy. Campese showed why, as he jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and streaked to the net. Campese was almost off balance as he pulled goalie Markus Daly so far out of the net Campese was able to slide the puck in along the ice.
Other notables were 6-foot-2, 180-pound Matthew Dykstra knocking 6-foot-3, 210 lbs. Quinn Lenihan to the ice, and a scary high-stick to Jack Walker that clearly stunned the promising second-year forward.
Brayden Dunn also scored for Team Blue on a tap-in at the side of the net, fed from Brett Cote. Later, Cote blasted a point shot past goalie Evan Smith for a goal of his own.
Defenceman Kolton Dixon showed a flash of skill as he led the rush along the left wing and snapped a low shot past goalie Griffen Outhouse. Out of Williams Lake, Outhouse was one of six underagers born in 1998 still with the team as of Wednesday.
The Royals embark on Friday for their preseason schedule, starting with a three-game tournament in Everett this weekend against the Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans.
The Royals’ only home preseason contest is Saturdayl Sept. 14 against the Vancouver Giants, 1:35 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.