Joshua Roy Is Carving Out A Top Six Role

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

With a pure lack of offence aside from the Montreal Canadiens top six, a rookie is emerging as a legitimate top-six option.

Each game that Joshua Roy plays he further cements himself as a player that was a draft steal. From fifth overall pick to impact player every time he jumps over the boards, it’s not a normal thing. Against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night he nearly pulled off a highlight reel rush to the net. 

Spinning around a defender between the opposing blueline and faceoff circle, Roy had one defender to beat but he bobbled the puck. The confidence to try such a move isn’t something that many players have, especially not at 20 years old. He and Alex Newhook have developed some legitimate chemistry and there’s certainly room to grow.

Next season is going to be a big one and with a true number two centre flanking the two wingers, the potential is massive. Roy is currently proving that the pace and skill aren’t too difficult for him, and he hasn’t exactly had an all-star winger or a true centre on his line. With a full offseason to train and prepare for his sophomore season, Roy could fill a big need for Martin St. Louis.

Rarely do rookies hit the league and thrive defensively like Roy has. With a little more time, he could find himself a regular role on the penalty kill and I expect he will create a ton of shorthanded opportunities. His skating, which was a knock on him, has improved and while he will never be a speedster, he will certainly score on some of those opportunities. 

His offensive zone intelligence is perhaps the most impressive, he proved in junior that he can score in a variety of ways. The same can be said about his time in the AHL with the Laval Rocket and there have been shades with the Habs. Roy’s heavy, accurate release gets off quickly and he has the smarts to find breakdowns in coverage to use it. 

With a true play driver like Kirby Dach feeding him and Newhook passes or pushing back the defence, Roy and Newhook can work the give-and-go. We have seen how well they work together now and it makes sense to leave what’s not broken alone. There is reason to believe that he has 20-20-40 potential and his rookie season should be huge to build confidence off of. 

An impact player in all three zones and especially effective in the neutral zone, Roy has so much potential. St. Louis is the man to unlock that potential, he helped Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky develop a two-way game. Certainly, he can help Roy raise his offensive ceiling to another level. 

The losing has undoubtedly taken a toll, but some nice pieces are coming through the wings. None more exciting to elevate the forward core than Roy. And there’s reason to believe he will take another step next year, after forcing the Habs to keep him in the lineup this year. 

Roy has become quite the value pick and with a top-six role up for grabs, he is likely to increase his value even more in 2024-25.