Future Watch: Olivier Roy
19-year-old netminder builds on experience, pedigree and a promising future
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).
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)
|19||4||1||0||1||-2||6||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||6||1||1||2||-1||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||0||0||0||0||0||0||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||8||1||2||3||E||4||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||-||-||-||-||-||-||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||0||0||0||0||0||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|29||6||2||1||3||-1||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||0||0||0||0||0||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||6||0||1||1||-2||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||-||-||-||-||-||-||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||1||0||0||0||E||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||timra ik (sel)|
|23||0||0||0||0||0||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||4||3||2||5||-3||2||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||6||1||1||2||-1||6||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||6||1||2||3||-2||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||6||0||2||2||E||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||6||1||2||3||E||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||6||1||1||2||+3||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||4||0||2||2||-1||6||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||0||0||0||0||0||0||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||-||-||-||-||-||-||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||6||0||2||2||+1||21||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|25||5||0||1||1||+1||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||6||1||0||1||+2||6||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||2||0||0||0||E||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||4||0||1||1||N/A||2||stockton thunder (echl)|
|21||-||-||-||-||-||-||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||4||2||2||4||-5||4||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||-||-||-||-||-||-||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||1||0||0||0||-1||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||4||1||4||5||-4||6||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||1||0||1||1||N/A||0||stockton thunder (echl)|
|28||6||0||0||0||+1||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||6||0||1||1||-1||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||5||0||0||0||E||12||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||10||4||6||0||1||2.97||.912||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||1||0||1||0||0||9.00||.500||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||6||2||3||0||1||1.79||.931||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||1||0||1||0||0||9.00||.750||STOCKTON THUNDER (ECHL)|
|19||3||0||2||0||0||6.88||.739||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|