Keith Dwiggins/Portland Winterhawks

A successful transition to the WHL for Phillip Schultz

Victoria Royals forward Phillips Schultz made an impact in his first season playing in North America.

After standing out in international play for his home country, first as a 17-year-old at the 2018 world juniors in Buffalo, then as the captain and leading scorer for Denmark at the U-18 world championships, Schultz made the move to play with the Royals this past season.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Schultz of his first season in the WHL. “I haven’t regretted at all to make the choice of coming over here. I have developed a lot as a person being away from home. But also as a player, playing in such a good league with such elite players.”

Philip Schultz scores a shorthanded goal against the Spokane Chiefs

Although he had some experience with the smaller North American ice surfaces, there was still some fine-tuning for the international player. “This season took me some time to adjust at the start. I feel I had a better push in the second half. I want to build on that for next season.”

For Victoria, the forward had 36 points (19g, 17a) in 60 games for his club in the 2018-19 season. It was in the playoffs however, that Schultz really cranked it up with nearly a point per game he played.

In the first round series versus the Kamloops Blazers, the product of Rodovre, Denmark was on fire for Victoria. He recorded three multi-point games, including a pair of two-point games along with one four-point effort. That effort was enough to be recognized as one of the WHL Three Stars for the first round of the 2019 WHL Playoffs.

When asked about heating up in the playoffs, Schultz said “That’s something you always want to do. To play well and especially contribute a lot to the team. That [recognition] was nice but first I felt that I helped the team and that was the most important thing. The bounces and points happened to come my way.”

Also notable for the forward in the playoffs was a nasty run into the open gate of the bench in Game 3 of the second round versus the Vancouver Giants. On a high speed play, Schultz was hit into the gate and left the game in noticeable pain. Remarkably, he returned the next game to the surprise of many.
“I can’t remember being in any crash like that before,” said Schultz with a chuckle, “It was not fun and I’m thinking a lot more about the gate now than I did before.”

“It was a good job by the medical staff to get me ready and I was lucky that nothing broke. It was just a muscle so I’m feeling good.”

Always a team player, Schultz is complimentary of his teammates and how welcome they made him feel. “They were phenomenal when I came here. This was my first club change ever. I’ve always played on the same team in the same town. Coming to a new country and new team, then have the guys take such good care of me, it felt like home from day one. It made it easier for me hundred percent.”

Now into the off-season, the forward is looking forward to being home. “I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them. Then it is time to work out as always and get prepared for next season. The break will be a chance to just have some time off and enjoy.”

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