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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Nicolas Roy

Austin Manak Avatar
June 3, 2015

 

Get to know Nicolas Roy

Date of Birth: 2/05/1997
Place of Birth: Amos, QC, CAN
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 195 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Center
Team: Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)

Nicolas Roy is a prospect who finds himself slipping in the wrong direction on many draft boards as June 26th approaches. Entering the 2014-15 campaign with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the QMJHL, Roy was viewed as a prospect who was primed for an offensive explosion, and would solidify himself as a first-round lock in the NHL Entry Draft.

Unfortunately, the offensive output didn’t come in spades for Roy like he probably had hoped. His 18-year old season saw his goal-scoring plateau at 16 goals in 68 games after scoring 16 goals in 63 games in his 17-year old season as well. His total points did increase from 41 to 50 from his rookie to sophomore seasons in the Q. His current CSS draft rating sits at 45th, after holding down a midterm rating of 25th.

Fortunately, Roy’s game has matured in several areas that will still give him an excellent chance at playing in the NHL someday. While scouts have softened on his offensive upside and potential, Roy has gained traction as more of a grinding prospect with his good hockey sense and ability to do the dirty work.

Roy may lack the flashy skills or top-six upside of many prospects rated near him, but he presents in many ways a much safer selection, given his mature style of play.

What Scouts See

Elite Prospects, Curtis Joe

An aggressive power center who has the ability to dominate on the forecheck. The first thing you will notice about Nicolas Roy is that he is a full-framed figure who powers through his strides and finishes his checks. Subsequently, you will notice his nose for the net; he cannot be knocked off stride easily and has a good set of hands around the net. All-in-all, a big-bodied, imposing presence on the ice who threatens the opposition with his deadly medley of size and skill.

Future Considerations

A big power forward in the making…shows excellent strength and poise with the puck…distributes well from the around the offensive zone…shows off tremendous vision and passing skill…has a very strong stride and is hard to knock off the puck…uses his size and strength to win pucks along the boards and protect it around the outside…possesses a strong shot…forechecks hard and aggressively, and plays with plenty of grit…solid defensively as he gets involved and plays strong in his own end…uses his stick and his size well on the boards…always in good supporting position…raw, but high-end, two-way upside. (August 2014)

What BSN Avalanche Sees

Nicolas Roy is a big forward, who has a lot of qualities you look for in an NHL player. Once deemed a top-six offensive talent, Roy has transformed himself into a much more well-rounded player, who now looks destined to reach the NHL as a checking line pivot with top-nine upside.

At six-foot-four, Roy has the frame to become a tough physical force to contain at the NHL level, and he has more mass and physicality than many players his age. You will notice Nicolas doing a lot of little things and dirty work on the ice that it takes to win. He competes hard in puck battles, and strives to put himself in defensively sound positions.

Offensively, Roy has some good tools. He is a good passer and has excellent vision. I think the two things that limit his offensive upside at this point are his shot, which isn’t explosive or powerful enough to do consistent damage, and his reluctance to make snap-decisions with the puck. Roy processes the game well, but doesn’t always process situations quickly, which probably has led to missed opportunities on most nights.

As a skater, Roy has work to do, although it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. It’s very rare to find a 6’4″ eighteen year old with excellent skating. His first step can use improvement, as well as some fine-tuning in his agility, although once at top speed his long, smooth stride allows him to scoot across the ice with good pace.

One of the things I like most about Roy is his ability to protect the puck. He doesn’t possess the quickest hands, and I think his hand-eye coordination is something he could stand to work on. That being said, Roy values the biscuit, and no amount of gravy causes it to slip from his possession if he can help it.

Last season in the Q, Roy saw time on the power play and on the penalty kill, which further boosts his stock as a well-rounded prospect. I like Roy’s game quite a bit. He’s not a guy who will make headlines, but I can see him becoming an important piece to a bottom-six of a winning hockey club in the NHL.

Highlights

NHL Potential

Roy projects as a top-nine two-way NHL forward. His best bet to become an impact player is to become a defensive minded center well-tuned for a bottom-six checking role with some offensive upside.

Once thought to be a player with top-six NHL potential, Roy and the team that drafts him may hope that he has a breakout offensive season next year with Chicoutimi. Although Roy turning into a big-time point producer at the NHL level is a bit of a pipe-dream, his defensive abilities, size, hockey sense, and two-way ability make him a safe bet to reach the NHL.

Expected Draft Position

Given his fall in the Central Scouting rankings, Roy’s draft position is a bit more precarious than it was prior to the turn of the new year.

Right now, he looks to be a 2nd-round pick with the latest I see him going off the board being the early 3rd-round.

How Would Roy Fit in the Avalanche Organization?

With Conner Bleackley already in the system as a 3rd-line center for the future, Roy might be a bit redundant. Especially with another guy named Roy (yes it’s the same pronunciation) sitting behind the bench.

That being said, Nicolas Roy has a skill-set I really like. I think he shows a lot of promise to be a solid possession forward, and given his size and strength along the boards, could easily be a force as a winger in my opinion.

The Avalanche should be looking to stockpile their system with diverse players who can make an NHL impact within 2-4 years. Roy certainly fits that bill, so it would be a tremendous value pickup if the Avalanche called his name in the 3rd round of this year’s draft. At 40th overall, you’re leaving a lot more talent on the board, but if Roy reaches the NHL, you really can’t argue too much with the pick.

Check Out These Other Prospect Profiles

Travis Konecny
Jeremy Roy
Jansen Harkins
Gabriel Gagné
Jake DeBrusk

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