It Was Only A Matter Of Time For Joshua Roy

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Joshua Roy was the Montreal Canadiens lone goalscorer on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The well-placed wrist shot beat Hurricane’s goaltender Frederik Andersen, who never saw the puck. Roy displayed a bit of everything on the goal, a slick feint, then a nasty no-look release. It’s become apparent that Roy just needed a little time.

Roy has adjusted to the speed of the NHL and with each passing game his confidence grows. He is aware that he can play in the NHL and the competition hasn’t shaken him. The Quebec native scored two goals on Thursday night, although one was called back. 

One of the most admirable things about Roy is his 200-foot game. Because of it, he creates a ton of space for himself and his linemates, in space he is so crafty. The way he slows things down would be impressive for a veteran, but Roy is still a rookie. 

Offensively Roy is constantly poised to attack open space and the way he drives opponents back and dishes the puck to his linemates is impressive. His hands in tight are so quick, and he looks comfortable playing around the net. I can see a world where Alex Newhook drops to powerplay two in place of Roy.

With the playoffs out of reach, growth and development should take precedence. Having said that, it wouldn’t be awful to give Roy a chance with the top unit. His poise and calm with the puck are ideal traits for a powerplay.

Roy’s deceptiveness makes him difficult to defend, if a defender guesses wrong he is explosive in his transition game. I think the smartest course of action would be to give Roy top-six minutes and see what he can do. Surely his confidence will grow, and he will have plenty to build on during the offseason in preparation for a larger role come October.  

Making the NHL as a fifth-round pick is an incredible achievement, but Roy isn’t done yet. A fourth-line role would be great for a late pick like No. 89, but he has made sure that isn’t where he plays. I expect that next year he will prove too talented to play anywhere but the Habs top six. 

With a healthy Kirby Dach returning next, and Alex Newhook already playing big minutes, the second-line questions may already be solved. Roy’s smarts paired with Newhook’s speed and Dach’s skill could make for a great young trio. Give Roy a natural centre, put Newhook on the wing where he can use his speed, and let the line cook. 

Roy is a gem, and a lot of NHL general managers are likely kicking themselves for passing on him. Especially considering how far he has come since his junior days, and how much room he still has to grow. With goaltending looking solid for the future and the blueline looking like a strength, Roy's emergence is huge news for the forward corps.

A big step from this year to next is what is expected for the Canadiens, and with Roy playing the way he is, scoring should increase.