Nicolas Roy did not expect to be traded.
After finishing a strong season in the Carolina Hurricanes organization, the 22-year-old center entered the offseason a Calder Cup Champion with hopes of being a full-time Hurricane next season.
On Wednesday, Roy was acquired along with a 2021 conditional fifth round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Erik Haula. Minutes after the trade, Roy said he was surprised by the move, but shock turned to thrill when he heard he was heading to Vegas.
"I was lucky to play against Vegas in Vegas with the 'Canes early in the season," Roy said. "I could tell it was the best crowd and it was so fun to play there. I'm so excited to be traded here."
Roy took steps in the right direction in 2018-19 as he posted 36 points (17G, 19A) in 69 regular season games with the Charlotte Checkers in addition to six games in Carolina. During the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs, the 6-foot-4 center notched 15 points (6G, 9A) in 19 games to help Charlotte defeat Vegas' AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, in five games.
While there are ample numbers to point to when describing Roy's offensive success so far in his career, he said he likes to make an impact in all three zones. Taking care of his defensive end is all part of the job.
"I think I'm a two-way center who can play well offensively and defensively," Roy said. "I like to go hard on the forecheck and protect the puck with my body."
With an entire summer between the trade and the first chance Roy will have to don his new team's gear, there is a lot to look forward to for Vegas' newest player. The Amos, Quebec native said he's thrilled by the idea of playing with Marc-Andre Fleury whom he grew up watching.
For now, Roy's focus remains the same as it did before the trade - get ready to become a full-time NHL player. What has changed is the jersey that he is aiming to wear.
"I'm just so excited to be a Vegas Golden Knight and I can't wait for this year's camp heading into the season," Roy said. "It feels so good to say that."