FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Olivier Roy

19-year-old netminder builds on experience, pedigree and a promising future

Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 4:05 PM / Future Watch
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Olivier Roy
Olivier Roy amassed a 29-13-2 record, along with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage this season (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club).

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Like most young prospects entering the fold of an NHL club, Olivier Roy has experienced a whirlwind since his selection date nearly two years ago.

He has played for the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and in between getting a three-game shot in the AHL, in addition to an opportunity at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship earlier this winter.

Before that could become a reality, his dream needed a spark to conduct that NHL initiation. That came on June 27, 2009 at the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, Quebec.

Known for his relaxed demeanour under pressure, Roy couldn't help but convey his nervousness as the later rounds progressed. 10 goaltenders before him were assigned to various teams, but the 19-year-old keeper believes his moment was worth the wait.

"It was an amazing feeling," Roy recalled. "It was a long wait at the Bell Centre. But being drafted by a Canadian team and in the closest place to my home was so special. It's pretty funny to think that it all started by playing hockey in the basement with my dad."

Roy's development has kicked into overdrive as new experience recently provided the foundation for improvement. It's working well, too. In 45 games this season, the Causapscal, Quebec native posted a 29-13-2 record, underlining a solid 2.79 goals-against average and a career-best .911 save percentage.

"I learned a lot during the season," Roy said. "As a team, we had our ups and downs, but we did win nine games in a row at one point, so you have to take those positives."

Referencing the positives is a necessary component following a disappointing end to the 2010-11 season. Acadie-Bathurst concluded the year with a second-place standing in the QMJHL's Maritimes Division with 91 points, but were bounced in a four-game sweep to the underdog Victoriaville Tigres, who were only able to accumulate 74 points in the regular season.

Even so, the 2010-11 season was productive in many ways. Another dream was realized in December when Roy had the opportunity to skate with Team Canada at the annual U-20 tournament in Buffalo, New York. The 6'0", 190-pound netminder appeared in three games, posting a 2-1 record, a 3.57 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage.

Because of his troubling early-tournament numbers, Roy was replaced with Niagara IceDogs goaltender Mark Visentin for the remainder of the tournament. That included the heartbreaking 6-5 overtime loss to the Americans, earning the silver-medal relegation on Jan. 5, 2010.

Despite the challenges, Roy believes the experience was valuable.

"It was something new to me," he laughed. "But I had the chance to work and play with the best over there. I learned so much about preparation and taking care of my body. Of course, playing against the top competition never hurts either. I think I'm a better goalie now."

It's the mentality that has helped Roy develop his game with such precision. His struggle in Buffalo helped re-charge an unrelenting desire to improve and bounce back from a disappointing stretch.

"I had a better last half of the season," he explained. "I would probably credit that to what I was able to learn at the World Juniors. I feel that I've improved so much since then. The experience was great."

Roy and his coaches in Acadie-Bathurst worked methodically on improving certain aspects of his game. Some were developed in Buffalo, while others have been an ongoing agenda item. Either way, Roy aims to improve in all areas as he targets a pro arrival as early as next season.

"[My coaches and I] worked hard at getting stronger," he said. "That's important for any goalie, I think. Technically speaking, we want to keep working on short plays, in an around the net. Quickness will help there for sure."

All things considered, these are attributes that are modeled by his NHL idols.

"I'm a really big fan of Jonathan Quick and Nicklas Backstrom. I like to play like them because I think I share the same qualities. I like to play the game aggressive on the shooter. I want to challenge them and force them into a decision. Because of that, I consider myself a hybrid goaltender."

Over the summer, Roy's goals remain the same. Hard work, focus and dedication to succeed will, once again, provide the backdrop for a busy three-month stretch before the puck drops. 

"I still need to get stronger. I want to make sure I work hard to achieve that and then come into camp in the best shape as possible."

Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com

 
 
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS (PLAYOFFS)

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 4 1 0 1 -2 6 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
mark arcobello
22 6 1 1 2 -1 0 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 - - - - - - Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 0 0 0 0 0 0 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 8 1 2 3 E 4 kootenay ice (WHL)
Robby Dee   23 - - - - - - university of maine (h-east)
Jesse Gimblett 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Alexandre Giroux 
29 6 2 1 3 -1 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 0 0 0 0 0 0 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Teemu Hartikainen 
20 6 0 1 1 -2 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 - - - - - - quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 1 0 0 0 E 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 - - - - - - timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 0 0 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 4 3 2 5 -3 2 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Colin McDonald   26 6 1 1 2 -1 6 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Brad Moran   31 6 1 2 3 -2 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra
23 6 0 2 2 E 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark 
24 6 1 2 3 E 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 6 1 1 2 +3 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 4 0 2 2 -1 6 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 0 0 0 0 0 0 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 - - - - - - ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox *
24 - - - - - - oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 6 0 2 2 +1 21 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
hunter tremblay
25 5 0 1 1 +1 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris VandeVelde
23 6 1 0 1 +2 6 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
KEVIN MONTGOMERY
22 2 0 0 0 E 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 4 0 1 1 N/A 2 stockton thunder (echl)
Kyle Bigos   21 - - - - - - merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 4 2 2 4 -5 4 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney *
23 - - - - - - oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 1 0 0 0 -1 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Troy Hesketh   19 - - - - - - sioux city musketeers (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 4 1 4 5 -4 6 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Johan Motin
21 1 0 1 1 N/A 0 stockton thunder (echl)
Richard Petiot
28 6 0 0 0 +1 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry
23 6 0 1 1 -1 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante
21 5 0 0 0 E 12 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 10 4 6 0 1 2.97 .912 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Jeff Deslauriers   26 1 0 1 0 0 9.00 .500 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Martin Gerber
36 6 2 3 0 1 1.79 .931 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton *
22 1 0 1 0 0 9.00 .750 STOCKTON THUNDER (ECHL)
Olivier Roy   19 3 0 2 0 0 6.88 .739 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)

INSIDE THE OILERS