In a draft chock full of promising centre prospects, a name to make note of for down the road is Nicolas Roy of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
Roy had a productive season, though perhaps not as eye popping as some would hope for in 2014-15. In 68 games he recorded 16 goals and 50 points on a Chicoutimi team that went 29-32-7 this season. The mark was a nine point improvement on his rookie season in five more games. In five playoff games, Roy posted a pair of goals and five points. He also took part in the CHL Top Prospects game.
Earlier this year, Roy took part in the Hlinka Memorial tournament and was a productive player for Canada. In five games he had a goal and four assists as part of a gold medal winning team. He also represented Canada at the U-18 World Championships. In seven games he had three goals and six points to help capture a bronze medal.
Roy is best characterized as a prototypical big two-way centreman. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 203 pounds, which is more than enough to hold his own at the position. He is a tenacious forechecker and consistently wins puck battles with his size and stick. Moreover, he has a good sense of where to be on the ice, which earns him scoring opportunities and keeps his unit defensively responsible. He owns a good shot and can distribute the puck effectively.
The primary knock on Roy's game is his skating ability. He thinks the game well and puts himself in positions to succeed but his ability to move around lags behind. Given the disparity in pace between the junior and pro ranks, this is an area of heavy emphasis for his game. The good news is players that have had trouble skating in the past have the ability to drastically improve and unleash their potential. Look no further than Ottawa forward Mark Stone who is a Calder Trophy finalist.
Roy is a player with immense potential to succeed at the next level, but the height of his ceiling will be dependent on his ability to improve his skating.
Expect Roy to be taken among the final third of the first round, or early on day two.