Ben Fisher The Hockey Writers
Joshua Roy – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile
2020-21 Teams: Saint John Sea Dogs/Sherbrooke Phoenix (#10)
Date of Birth: August 6, 2003
Place of Birth: Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- Bob McKenzie, TSN: Unranked
- McKeen’s Hockey: Unranked
- Future Considerations: 64th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 40th
- DobberProspects: Unranked
Joshua Roy knows the pressure that comes with lofty draft status. He was selected by the Saint John Sea Dogs with the first overall pick of the 2019 QMJHL Draft after dominating the Quebec Midget AAA level with 38 goals and 88 points in just 42 games.
While Roy has yet to experience that same dominance in the Q, the skilled center did post 16 goals and 44 points in 60 games in Saint John last season. That same year, he was named to Team Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he collected two goals and two assists in five games.
This season, Roy has raised his game, even amidst what has been a bumpy season. The 17-year-old posted 17 points in 15 games with the Sea Dogs before the club had to take a COVID-related hiatus for more than three months. In that time, he made — and was granted — a trade request, landing with the bottom-dwelling Sherbrooke Phoenix for a trio of first-round picks (from “Joshua Roy takes on a new challenge with Phoenix,” Michael Boriero, The Record, 01/02/21). As his former Sea Dog teammates have had to content themselves with scrimmages, Roy has already risen to second among Sherbrooke scorers with 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 16 games.
To those who have followed the offensively gifted Roy, the improvement isn’t surprising. A high-IQ player, he is in his element in the offensive zone, where his keen playmaking instincts and hockey sense are complemented by a dangerous shot. That skill set has drawn comparisons to NHL star John Tavares, whom Roy models his game after.
“I think my hockey sense is my best quality. I see the game well — when I need to pass, I pass, and when I need to shoot, I shoot,” says Roy. “I make good decisions, and I’m good with the puck too — skills and everything like that.”
Saint John Sea Dogs’ Director of Scouting Anthony Stella, who had a major role in drafting Roy, would tend to agree with that assessment. Upon acquiring him at the 2019 Draft, Stella predicted big things from the Saint-Georges-de-Beauce native.
“He produces — it’s plain and simple. I know there’s criticisms about him but, really, when you look at the stats and what he does and his underlying numbers as well, he’s a generational talent like I said,” says Stella. “I mean, I’d love to see him on our top line one day and put up, maybe, 100 points a season.”
While that will no longer happen in Saint John, Roy’s early signs of a 2020-21 breakout are beginning to make Stella look potentially prophetic. As for the criticisms, the six-foot centre’s defensive game remains a work in progress. At the NHL level, there remain some questions as to whether his playmaking creativity and vision can flourish without elite physical tools, namely speed or size.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Joshua Roy – NHL Draft Projection
While NHL breakouts like Alex DeBrincat have forced team scouts and executives to look beyond size measurements in their evaluation of players, possessing average size and speed is a hard combination to overcome, even for a point-per-game player. That said, Roy’s vision and hockey IQ should translate well at the next level, making him a potentially worthwhile flyer in the late-second or into the third round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
“He has great hands and is a high-end passer. With the puck on his stick he stands out consistently with how many plays he can make through defenders and to his teammates. The physical tools are less flashy.” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic (The 2021 NHL Draft ranking: Corey Pronman’s top 35 prospects, Oct. 8, 2020)
“Roy was challenged to take on a two-way role with the team from early on, and as such, has already shown signs of refined play across 200-feet. Unfortunately, as a result of the role he was cast in, the tactical skill and creativity that we might’ve expected from him has yet to fully blossom.” – Brayden Roy, DobberProspects
“He’s an excellent puck possession player who can win battles, keep plays alive, and create off the cycle. Now I just want to see him do some more damage off the rush.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
“Josh is a good young player that has the potential to be a great young player with the right commitment to himself. He’s very attentive, he wants to learn, and is one of those young players that needs to realize how good he can be with the extra work needed. Great young man.” – Greg Gilbert, Saint John Sea Dogs head coach
- Hockey Sense/IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Two-Way Game
While lacking the speed that is typically necessary to fill a top-six role, Roy could grow into a valuable middle-six forward, potentially driving the offense as a third-line center.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 5/10, Defense – 2/10
Roy led the Quebec Bantam AAA Hockey League (QBAAA) in goals (33) and points (60).
Roy won gold with Team Quebec at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. He also scored a league-leading 88 points in the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League (QMAAA), earning MVP honors and the league’s Prospect Award. In June of 2019, he was selected first overall in the QMJHL Entry Draft by the Saint John Sea Dogs. As a member of Canada Red, he finished fourth at the 2019 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.
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