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Behind The Bench: Derek Roy

by on 09/26/2011

Vitals

Born: Ottawa, ON, CAN
Birth date: May, 4, 1983
Height: 5’9” (175 cm)
Weight: 187 lbs (85 kg)
Position: C
Shoots: Left
NHL Draft: 32nd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2001
NHL Team: Buffalo Sabres
Jersey No.: #9
National Team: Canada
NHL Contract: 12/13
Cap Hit: $4,000,000

History

Roy played 4 years of junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL from 1999 to 2003. In his rookie season, Roy led the Rangers with 87 points in 66 games and won the Emms Family Award as the OHL Rookie of the Year. He followed up with a strong sophomore season, potting 42 goals and 81 points in 65 games. Despite his small size, his two strong OHL seasons showed enough for the Buffalo Sabres to draft him 32nd overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Roy joined the Sabres for training camp and the preseason in the fall of 2002. Despite a strong camp, Roy returned to the Rangers for another season in the OHL. In his last season with the Rangers, Roy captained the team to an OHL championship as well as winning the 2003 Memorial Cup, where he was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup MVP. Roy also represented Canada at the 2002-03 U20 WJC, helping the team to a silver medal.

Roy made his professional debut with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Scoring at a point per game for the first 26 games, the Sabres recalled Roy, and he spent the rest of the season with the NHL club. Roy played 49 games with the Sabres and tallied 19 points. Roy spent the NHL lockout with the Americans, scoring 61 points in 67 games. After the season resumed, Roy failed to make the Sabres lineup out of training camp and was sent for a short stint with the Americans. Roy played 7 games with the Americans before he was recalled by the Sabres for good. Roy played 70 regular season games and recorded 46 points and finished with 15 points in the playoffs. The Sabres advanced to the semi-finals before being ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 2006-07 was an early coming out party for Roy. In 75 games, Roy improved to 63 points and tallied another 7 during the playoffs. Despite the Sabres capturing the Presidents’ Trophy, the Sabres were eliminated for the second consecutive year in the semi-finals. On July 27, 2008, the Buffalo Sabres signed Roy to a six-year, $24 million contract extension.

Despite the departures of co-captains Chris Drury and Danny Briere during the off-season, the 2007-08 season marked Roy’s coming out party. In the first year of his contract extension, Roy tallied 32 goals and 49 assists in 78 games. The losses of co-captains Chris Drury and Danny Briere proved too much as the Sabres failed to make the playoffs.

Roy spent the next two seasons trying to recapture the brilliance of his break out season. Even though he never recaptured his brilliance, he still played over 80 games in both seasons and managed to rack up 70 points per season.

After leading the Sabres in points for the first half of the 2010-11 season, Roy suffered a torn quad tendon that put him out for the rest of the regular season. However, he returned for game 7 of the Sabres’ first-round series against the Flyers. After missing 46 regular season games and 6 playoff games, Roy tallied 1 point in his one and only playoff game of the season.

Talent Analysis

Pros

  • Has a never quit mentality
  • Impeccable work ethic
  • Great on-ice vision
  • Makes those around him better
  • Outstanding playmaker
  • Great skater with elite speed and acceleration
  • Impressive stick handler
  • Plays a somewhat physical game despite his small stature
  • Good, accurate shot with a quick release

Cons

  • Subject to wear down due to his stature and physical style of play
  • Loses battles due to lack of size and strength

Future

Roy is an often forgotten, elite center that is entering his prime years. Last season, Roy was on a point per game average until an injury that sidelined him for the season. A healthy Roy next season could easily allow him to top his career high of 81 points in 78 games. He is entering next season healthy and is expected to center the top line with Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek. Roy will also center the top power play unit that will feature, power play quarterbacks, Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers. Don’t be surprised to see Roy connect with both Ehrhoff and Myers on a lot of power play goals this upcoming season.

While centers like Sidney Crosby, Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom, Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin are sure to go in the first 3 rounds in this upcoming seasons fantasy pool’s, Roy is a great late round pick that could produce more than some of the players that will be chosen early on in the draft. Expect Roy to eclipse his previous career high and put up 85-90 points in a full, healthy season.

NHL Highlights

  • Drafted 32nd overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1st NHL Game Played – December 13th, 2003 vs. Minnesota Wild (2-3 L)
  • 1st NHL Point – December 23rd, 2003 vs. Ottawa Senators (Goal)
  • 1st NHL Goal – December 23rd, 2003 vs. Ottawa Senators
  • 1st NHL Assist – December 31st, 2003 vs. Washington Capitals
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – December 31st, 2003 vs. Washington Capitals (Two assists)
  • 1st NHL Hat-trick – March 3rd, 2006 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1st NHL Playoff GP – April 22nd, 2006 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Playoff Point – May 2nd, 2006 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Playoff Goal – May 2nd, 2006 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Playoff Assists – May 2nd, 2006 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – May 2nd, 2006 vs. Philadelphia Flyers (One Goal and two assists)

Career Highlights

  • 1999-00 CHL All-Rookie Team
  • 1999-00 CHL Plus/Minus Award
  • 1999-00 CHL Sportsmanlike Player of the Year
  • 1999-00 OHL First All-Rookie Team
  • 1999-00 OHL Most Assists by a Rookie (53)
  • 1999-00 OHL Most Points by a Rookie (87)
  • 1999-00 OHL Rookie of the Year, Emms Family Award
  • 2002-03 CHL Memorial Cup All-Star Team
  • 2002-03 CHL Memorial Cup Champion
  • 2002-03 CHL Memorial Cup Most Valuable Player, Stafford Smythe Trophy
  • 2002-03 OHL Champion
  • 2002-03 OHL Playoffs Most Assists (23)
  • 2002-03 OHL Playoffs MVP, Wayne Gretzky 99 Award
  • 2002-03 U20 WJC Best Face-off Percentage (71.95%)
  • 2002-03 U20 WJC Silver Medal
  • 2003-04 NHL YoungStars participant
  • 2007-08 World Championship Silver Medal
  • 2007-08 World Championship Silver Medal

Career Stats

AHL: 101 GP, 33 G, 84 A, 107 Pts
AHL Playoffs:
25 GP, 12 G, 13 A, 25 Pts
Memorial Cup:
4 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 4 Pts
Midget:
34 GP, 61 G, 31 A, 92 Pts
NHL:
469 GP, 144 G, 239 A, 383 Pts
NHL Playoffs:
40 GP, 7 P, 18 A, 25 Pts
OHL:
242 GP, 147 G, 188 A, 335 Pts
OHL Playoffs:
30 GP, 14 G, 26 A, 40 Pts
WC:
18 GP, 9 G, 9 A, 19 Pts
WJC-20:
6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts

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