Today’s ‘Midterms’ update on Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy completes the series of check ins on all 17 Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level. You find the clickable menu for the previous 16 articles at the bottom of this article.
Nicolas Roy 2016-17 season capsule
Nicolas Roy had another strong campaign in junior hockey during the 2016-17 season. He has captained his team to the playoffs. He has lead his team in scoring with 36 goals and 44 assists despite playing only 53 regular season games due to time lost playing in the world juniors tournament. And he has taken another step forward in his NHL development and accomplished about all he can at the junior level. He still has a final playoff run in front of him, but he is already under contract and will make the jump to the AHL once his juniors season ends.
Interview on Nicolas Roy with Steve Kournianos from The Draft Analyst
Canes and Coffee: How would you summarize/describe Nicolas Roy’s play in during 2016-17 regular season?
Steve Kournianos: He had another solid year for Chicoutimi, which was bolstered by the addition of German Rubtsov (Flyers 2016 1st rounder). Overall, the Saguenéens are his team, and they don’t go far without him. He was logging a lot of minutes and was used in all situations, and would have been one of only a few QMJHL’ers with a 100-point season had he not missed 15 games.
Canes and Coffee: Comparing Nicolas Roy’s 2015-16 season to the current one, is there anything that jumps out at you as significantly improved or different?
Steve Kournianos:Roy was more of a playmaker this year than a finisher. What stood out the most was his aggressiveness on the forecheck and using his reach to break up plays.
Canes and Coffee: What areas do you see for necessary improvement as Roy continues to develop his game for the NHL?
Steve Kournianos: Skating is improving, so it’s not as big of a concern as it was last year. Additionally, he bulked up by about 10 pounds since his draft year, and I think he’s at an ideal playing weight. Defensemen seem to be getting smaller, so I don’t think it’s imperative for him to get bigger. Playing with intensity and controlled anger is something I’d like to see more of. He’s too big and skilled to not be feared. I don’t think he intimidates anyone. Additionally, his positioning within his own zone is still a work in progress.
Canes and Coffee: From your viewpoint, what are Nicolas Roy’s prospects of making the NHL roster in his first professional season in 2017-18? What areas of his game might make it possible? What areas of his game might hold him back and require refinement at the AHL level?
Steve Kournianos: He’s a Quebec kid in a Quebec league with eyes on him since he was a kid, so he’s going to have to get used to the idea of living and playing in North Carolina. Charlotte will be a good jump off point for him so that isn’t completely freaked out when he gets his first NHL promotion. The AHL can be a violent league, so I think he needs to get used to the physicality and no-nonsense style of play. His ability to create in tight spaces with get him noticed, especially on the PP. But older opponents are going to try and intimidate him, and how he reacts to an uptick in physical abuse may determine whether or not he is NHL ready.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Nicolas Roy that Carolina Hurricanes fans might be interested to know?
Steve Kournianos: Roy’s excellent on face-offs. I’d say it’s his biggest strength in terms of intangibles. His play on the PK isn’t award worthy, but he will win a fair share of defensive zone draws.
Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Steve Kournianos for sharing his ‘from the rink’ insight on Nicolas Roy with the Carolina Hurricanes hockey community.
More on Nicolas Roy plus menu of previous MIDTERMS on Hurricanes prospects
Previous articles on Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy include:
Our ‘Back to School’ feature on Nicolas Roy from October 6 with an interview with Chicoutimi’s general manager and head coach Yanick Jean.
If you missed them and want to catch up, you can find the other entries in the ‘Midterms’ series here: