Since the Sharks drafted him just over 13 months ago, it’s been clear that the organization thinks highly of Jeremy Roy. San Jose traded up on the second day of the draft last year to draft the right-shooting defenseman with the first pick of the second round. It was a shock to many, as Roy was a projected first round pick ahead of the 2015 draft.
Roy’s third season in the QMJHL with the Sherbrooke Phoenix may not have necessarily been a step back, but it wasn’t necessarily a huge step forward, either. He set a career high with six goals, but posted the lowest point and games played totals of his career in the Q. But, as Hockey’s Future’s Craig Fischer points out, that wasn’t entirely Roy’s fault:
Faced with a slight drop in production over the past year, Jeremy Roy’s 2015-16 season has been one of increased growing pains. The young Quebec defender has increased his goal production by one (to six) but saw his point total drop to 34 from 43. Used heavily in an offensive role, Roy plays in all situations, but it has become apparent that the Sherbrooke Phoenix team leans on, and favors Carl Neil (VAN) when the game is on the line, rather than the higher-drafted Roy. At the moment, Roy’s drop in play isn’t alarming but it should be watched closely.
Even with the slight regression, Roy remains the Sharks’ best prospect on the blueline. To put his struggles in context, Roy’s point totals in a down year last season would have been Mirco Mueller’s most in junior, albeit in the higher-scoring QMJHL.
Roy remains highly thought of outside of the Sharks organization as well. He was named to Canada’s World Junior evaluation camp roster this summer, and has a strong chance of representing his country this winter. In January, ESPN’s Corey Pronman ranked Roy as one of the league’s top 50 prospects [$]:
Roy is a personal favorite of mine. His performance has held steady from last season, but I’m willing to bet on him exploding during the next 18 months because he has massive potential. He’s a smart puck mover who seems to slow the game down whenever he gets near the play. Despite not being the biggest guy, he’s also quite good in his own end. He’s the prototypical modern-day defenseman who can outlet, rush and make stops.
Given the Sharks’ already crowded blueline and Mirco Mueller’s struggles after being rushed to the professional ranks, San Jose should sit tight and allow Roy to develop in junior. Just 19, he still has two years of junior eligibility left, and should be allowed to continue to develop playing in every situation for Sherbrooke.
There’s a reason the Sharks traded up for him and our readers ranked him as the Sharks’ top defensive prospect. If he continues to demonstrate that promise, he could be a fixture along the SAP Center’s blueline for years to come.
Name: Jeremy Roy
Age (as of 10/12/16): 19
2015-16 Team: Sherbrooke Phoenix
Where he’ll (probably) be next year: Sherbrooke Phoenix
What we like: Strong two-way game that projects well in the modern NHL.
What to improve on: Sustaining strong starts, as his point per game totals have dropped when the calendar flipped each of the past two seasons.
I’m cheating here since video of Roy’s most recent season was hard to come by, so hear from the man himself at last month’s development camp in San Jose. You may like how he invokes another Quebecois defenseman on the Sharks.