Former Victoria Royals captain Matthew Phillips (11) in action in a 2018 Western Hockey League against the Tri City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. Phillips played his first regular season NHL game on May 19 against Vancouver. (Black Press Media file photo)

Former Victoria Royals captain Matthew Phillips (11) in action in a 2018 Western Hockey League against the Tri City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. Phillips played his first regular season NHL game on May 19 against Vancouver. (Black Press Media file photo)

Former Victoria Royals captain gets rookie treatment in NHL debut

The Calgary Flames’ Matthew Phillips was a scoring star during his time with the Royals

A former captain of the Victoria Royals got the rookie treatment when he made his National Hockey League debut on Wednesday night.

Matthew Phillips led the Calgary Flames out onto the ice for the pre-game skate before Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. And as the tradition goes for any NHL newby, the rest of the Flames held back in the hallway to give Phillips a couple lonely laps around the Calgary end before they eventually joined him for the warmup.

The solo skate came in front of an empty Scotiabank Saddledome, but it was still a special moment for the kid from Calgary.

“It was just so cool,” Phillips said in a post-game interview. “Especially at the Saddledome, it just makes it that much better.”

READ: Senior to cycle length of Vancouver Island to raise funds for cancer research

The 23-year-old played for the Royals from the end of 2015 campaign through the 2018 season. A scoring star for the Royals, Phillips had 136 goals and 145 assists in 212 games during his Western Hockey League career.

Phillips then played three years with Calgary’s farm team, the Stockton Heat, where he tallied 36 goals and 56 helpers in 133 American Hockey League contests.

Phillips had two shots on goal in just over 14 minutes of ice time during the Flames’ 6-2 win over the Canucks.


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