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Joshua Roy: it’s far from impossible to see him in the NHL this year
When Joshua Roy was drafted in the fifth round by the CH in 2021, the talk was already of an interesting gamble. After arriving in the QMJHL with great fanfare in 2019, he got off to a rocky start with the Sea Dogs and doubts about his work ethic surfaced, but he showed encouraging signs following his arrival in Sherbrooke.

Roy confirmed that the change of organization had helped him greatly.

However, even if the talent was there, we didn’t necessarily expect to see him explode like this after being drafted. His 119 points in 62 games already suggested that he represented good value for a fifth-round pick.

And his 99 points in 55 games last year didn’t hurt either, especially as he improved the rest of his game at the same time.

This season, he’ll be making his professional debut (if we exclude his playoff game with the Rocket in the spring of 2022) and we can expect to see him have some good responsibilities in Laval. Without necessarily being the club’s best player, he has the potential to make his niche in the AHL.

And when you consider all that, plus the CH’s new forward hierarchy following the departures of Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick, I tend to think it’s far from impossible to see Roy playing in the NHL at some point this season.

Obviously, he’ll need a big start to the season in Laval to show he’s capable of playing in the pros, but in my eyes, he has the potential to be among the first recalled if regulars miss out.

Looking at the organization’s forwards, there’s a good list of guys who seem to have a guaranteed spot (Suzuki, Caufield, Dach, Newhook, Gallagher, Anderson, Armia, Dvorak, Evans, Monahan and Slafkovský), and guys like Jesse Ylönen, Michael Pezzetta and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard aren’t far off.

That’s 14 forwards, but after that, Roy probably isn’t that far off.

In fact, he’s probably around the same level as guys like Sean Farrell and Emil Heineman, who will also be starting the season in Laval. The club could opt for veterans like Lias Andersson, Mitchell Stephens and Philippe Maillet if it needs to recall guys, but if the youngsters do well, they might get their chance.

Last year, for example, Harvey-Pinard got his chance and made the most of it. The situation isn’t exactly the same, but it’s not drastically different either.

And should Roy ever get the chance to play in the NHL, he’ll be one of the many youngsters who will be donning the CH jersey this year.

Obviously, it’s far from a given that Roy will start strong in Laval, let alone be among the first recalled. But if he plays up to his potential(remember that Craig Button sees him as the club’s best prospect), he could well force Kent Hughes’ hand should the need arise.

And I have a funny feeling that Montreal fans would be delighted to see him get an audition in Montreal this season.

In gusto

– What do you think?

– I like the list.

– Nothing less.

– He’s not short of ambition.

– Two veterans will face off in Washington.

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