Next up in the ‘back to school’ series featuring Carolina Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level is Nicolas Roy.
Menu of previous ‘back to school’ articles on Hurricanes prospects
For anyone just returning to hockey after the offseason, here is a catch up reading list for similar articles on other Hurricanes prospects:
Nicolas Roy was the true definition of a true value pick for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL draft. Roy entered the 2014-15 season projected to be a first round selection in the following NHL draft. After a lackluster 2014-15 season, his stock dropped and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis swooped in to select Roy in the fourth round. Roy rebounded with a strong 2015-16 season basically doubling his previous season scoring total and reestablishing himself as an NHL prospect. After a short stint in the NHL training camp, Nicolas Roy has already rejoined the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
Interview with Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean on Nicolas Roy
Yanick Jean was named the head coach and general manager of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in November of 2014. Prior to joining the Sagueneens, Jean’s career included head coaching duties with Victoriaville and Prince Edward Island following a playing career in the QMJHL, ECHL and QSPHL.
Canes and Coffee: After being rated highly by draft analysts entering the 2014-15 season, Nicolas Roy’s stock fell before the draft and he was selected in the fourth round. He received strong reviews for his play in the 2015-16 season. How would you describe Roy’s 2015-16 season? What improvements did he make compared to the previous season?
Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean: He had an unbelievable year that was directly related to the fact that he improved his skating and strength.
Canes and Coffee: What are Roy’s strengths as a young player that he can build on to become and NHL player?
Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean: He is the perfect big 2-way centerman. Yes he scored 48 goals but always made défense a priority. He already plays an NHL 200-foot game and is above 60% on face-offs. He can play against other teams’ top lines and keep producing offence. He is a big threat in front of the net on power play and a penalty kill specialist as well.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of focus/improvement do you see for Nicolas Roy in the 2016-17 season and over the next couple years as he continues to improve and work toward becoming an NHL player?
Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean: He just needs to keep working on his skating and physical involvement to be tough to play against.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Nicolas Roy and believe he should model his game after?
Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean: He is a copy of Jordan Staal.
Canes and Coffee: What is something about Nicolas Roy that might be overlooked and maybe not noted in draft profiles and scouting reports?
Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and general manager Yanick Jean: He is an outstanding young individual who has an A1 work ethic. He is the son that every parent would dream of having.
Interview on Nicolas Roy with Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst
Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst: Roy is a big-bodied, two-way center who is extremely protective of the puck. He is far from flashy, but it doesn’t take much for him to create scoring opportunities for his linemates. Roy was once considered one of Canada’s top junior prospects but it wasn’t until last year when one could say he lived up to the billing.
Canes and Coffee: What strengths/skills does he possess that give him the potential to one day be an NHL player?
Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst: His size is something that will always keep him on someone’s radar – 6’4 centers are tough to come by. Roy has a clear understanding of the game and is one of junior hockey’s more cerebral pivots in terms of identifying multiple options and choosing the right one. If he would get to the NHL on just one skill, it would have to be his ability to make plays. But he is far from one dimensional – Roy reinvented himself as a goal scorer and is excellent on faceoffs.
Canes and Coffee: What areas for improvement would you identify as part of his development toward becoming an NHL player?
Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst: Roy’s skating lacks explosiveness, thus forcing him to play to the outside since defenders know he’s not quick enough to beat them to a danger area. His plodding style adds to the idea that he doesn’t play with intensity and often looks like he’s going through the motions. While this trend lost steam during a dominant 2016 campaign, Roy lacks the sort of killer instinct you would want in an upper-tier center. Adding muscle and showing more passion on the ice are two things that he must address as he develops in the minor leagues.
Canes and Coffee: Which NHL player(s) would you compare Roy to and why (and/or who do you think he should model his game after)?
Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst: Roy is a poor-man’s Joe Thornton – a pass-first center with size who uses his smarts and passing skills to make up for average mobility.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Nicolas Roy that you think would be of interest to Hurricanes fans that is not covered by the previous questions?
Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst: Roy was one of the top Quebec-trained prospects for his age group but refused to report to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who made him the first overall pick in the 2013 QMJHL Draft. He was traded from Cape Breton to Chicoutimi for a total of five picks – four from the first round – which included center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who the QMJHL gave to the Screaming Eagles as compensation.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Coach Yanick Jean and the media relations team for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst for their help covering Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy.