Jay Wallace

Counting on Culter – Victoria Royals player profile

With the Victoria Royals off to a fast start, forward Brandon Culter has emerged as an offensive leader for his new club. Acquired in an offseason trade with the Red Deer Rebels, Culter has played a large role in the Royals 8-1 start. “It’s been a good start. Anytime you start with the record like we have, it’s always fun,” said Culter. “But it is still early and the hard work doesn’t end here. I’m excited for the rest of season.”

Wednesday’s game versus Swift Current saw a change in the lines for Victoria, with Cutler joining Dante Hannoun and Tanner Sidaway. The results were immediate, as Hannoun recorded four points, Sidaway a goal and Culter a goal and an assist. ”I think that there is a lot of chemistry,” said Culter. “Dante’s a super skilled guy, so anyone he plays with he makes better. I’ve definitely enjoyed playing with him.” Head Coach Dan Price added “Culter and Dante have had a synergy right from the moment they got together.  We’ve seen that both on 5-on-5 and on the power plays. They have a really good ability to read off each other.  They may not play together every single minute, but for now we like the way they are working. Tanner Sidaway did a really good job complimenting that line as well.“

With four goals already for this campaign, Culter will smash his previous best of six goals in a season. When asked on what it was that has lead to his production increase the season, he said “I think it was a change of scenery. The coaching staff here they have a lot of confidence me. We have a good relationship here and being around these guys takes a lot of stress off myself. Having guys like Sidaway and Hannoun, playing with those type of players the pucks are going to go in.”

Photo: Jay Wallace

While the offense has cranked up for Culter, the physical aspect of his game that was present with the Rebels has yet to be consistent in his game this season.  When asked if that was a trade-off for production, Culter said he can offer both. “It’s something I definitely need to bring back into my game. I found it slipping a bit, I’m going to continue to work on bringing it back.”

Although trades are a part of the league, it is an event that catches the players off guard. ”I was pretty shocked and a little sad to leave the guys in Red Deer. But obviously Victoria is a beautiful city and I have had pretty good success here so far, so has the team. It’s never good to hear you’ve been traded, but it’s good to hear that it’s a place like Victoria. I was super excited. I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else right now”

Asked about some takeaways from his time in Red Deer, Culter said, “Off-ice how to act like a pro. On the ice, how to be physical and work hard every day, no matter what the circumstances are.”

Having just defeated the Broncos, he was asked if there were other eastern division teams that he looked forward to playing. “Still Lethbridge. They beat Red Deer out of the playoffs the last two years and those were always tough games. I don’t know if that rivalry will carry over here but we will see.”

The Royals will get to face that Lethbridge team, as well as Culter’s old team the Rebels, when they head out on a lengthy trip at the end of December. When asked how it will be to go back home, he said “Super excited. We play in Edmonton on my birthday and excited to get back to Red Deer. Being able to see everyone, my old billets and all my family there, it should be fun.”

Price offered a final word on his emerging forward, “He’s a guy that works really hard at his game. The interesting thing about Brandon is that he is a very intuitive and intelligent player. He’s quiet, but when he speaks with you one-on-one, you realize he’s got a great understanding of the game and great appreciation for the game. One thing that he has recognized about himself is that he has the ability to play on both sides of the puck. Clearly he has the ability to make plays offensively as he has great vision, great passer and great shot, but he’s also a tenacious player. He can be physical and when he is being physical, he tends to have the puck more and make more offensive plays as well.”

 

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