Noah Hanifin is widely expected to be the first defenceman selected at the 2015 NHL Draft. However, there’s still a handful of promising blueliners that could have a major impact at the next level.
One of those is Jeremy Roy, a two-way player that averaged almost a point per game in the QMJHL this past season.
Here’s everything you need to know about Roy:
Name: Jeremy Roy
Born: Longueuil, Quebec
Height: 6-foot-0, Weight: 183 pounds
Jeff Marek’s Take: Injuries hampered what should have been a breakout season for Roy. A very reliable two-way defenceman, Roy won’t ‘wow’ you with anything specific, but he plays a very safe, dependable game. Great quarterback on the power play. NHL Comparable: Justin Faulk
He’s a well-rounded player:
Roy is considered to be an offensive defenceman, but what stands out about his game is his ability to have an impact in all three zones of the ice. He is lauded for his vision, hockey sense, and intelligence and he is surprisingly strong for his size. There’s some Alex Pietrangelo in his game.
“I’m not the biggest guy, so I need to use my strength smartly,” Roy told Yahoo! Sports earlier this year. “I’m pretty strong for my size so I can throw good hits. But I need to use it more to box players out, that kind of thing.”
The Sherbrooke Phoenix were high on Roy, who selected him fourth overall in the 2013 QMJHL draft. It didn’t take long for him to impress. In his first QMJHL season, Roy led all rookie defenceman in goals, assists and points. He earned a spot on the All-Rookie team and was named the league’s defensive rookie of the year.
Roy followed up that performance by almost matching his rookie season point total in 20 less games. He finished the year with 43 points (five goals, 38 assists) in 46 games and added five points in six post-season games.
With a package of skills that includes vision, smarts and a good shot, he has the tools to be a legitimate power-play quarterback at the NHL level.
He was a standout for Team Canada
Roy’s improvement in his second season with Sherbrooke was no surprise to those who saw him play for Canada’s under-18 team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial. He served as an assistant captain, registering three assists in the tournament.
“It’s the moment when I saw how much I loved to win something, to be part of a team that went for the top honour,” Roy told Yahoo! Sports.
That experience helped Roy overcome a rough year for a Sherbrooke team that was among the worst in the league. The next year, Roy had a significant leadership role as the Phoenix secured their first-ever winning season and first-ever playoff appearance.
Following the year, Roy was named to the 2015 under-18 world junior championship in April, impressing with three goals and one assist in four games. His standout performance included a hat trick in a 11-6 win over Latvia.