Development Camp 2013: Eric Roy



No strangers to drafting defenders from the WHL, the Calgary Flames snapped up Eric Roy of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the fifth round of the NHL Draft. A native of Saskatchewan, Roy is generally better known for his offensive skills than his defensive acumen – he had 17 goals (second-best on the Wheaties), but a minus-32 rating (second-worst).

Heading into the 2013-14 season, Roy will be one of a handful of Wheat Kings drafted by NHL clubs and, along with team captain and Islanders first round pick Ryan Pulock, will anchor a very young defensive core. While he’s still quite raw, he’s got a lot of potential and already has his offensive game rounded out. If he can shore up his defensive zone play, he could be quite a steal as a fifth round selection. Compared to his first-rounder teammate, Roy’s much more of a work in progress in a good way.

I caught up with Roy in early July at Flames development camp.


Ryan Pike: What’s the last week or so been like, just being a part of an NHL organization?

Eric Roy: It’s been tough, but you know, I’ve just been working hard every day. Coming here, it’s nothing like junior. It’s a lot more intense, a lot more fast. Bigger guys. But I thought I’ve been doing well here.

Last year in Brandon, both you and Ryan Pulock were getting a lot of attention from scouts. How did you go through the season and did having a teammate going through the same thing help you get through it?

I thought it was a pretty good season. I didn’t worry about the draft too much. I was waiting for the day to happen, and then it did, and I came to Calgary, but in the back of my mind it was there. I just worked hard every day. At the start of the season, me and Pulock told each other not to think about it, just go out and play, and help the team win.

Being a guy from the west, is it helpful for your comfortable level getting drafted by a team from Western Canada?

Oh yeah. Obviously it’s a comfortable spot there. I’m familiar with Calgary. They’re a good organization and a great city and I’m just really happy to be here. 

For anybody who hasn’t seen you play very much, can you describe your game and what you bring to the table?

I think offensive abilities, that’s one of my strong attributes. A good first pass. Defensive part of it, I’ve been working on it from day one and it can only get better with time.

Brandon didn’t have the best year last year, but with the draft and everything behind you, what are your goals for the upcoming season?

Just go out and work hard every day. Get better, get stronger. Hopefully have a better team than we did last year. I think we will, because guys know what it takes now to play in the league and they’re a year older.

Flames Development Camp Profiles

    • BurningSensation

      What is interesting to me is that the Flames could get him in the 5th, especially since it was pondered aloud whether we should take him in the 3rd!

      It’s hard not to like the profile of a prospect like Roy. Big, strong, a plus skater, offensive abilities, with one glaring (and hopefully correctable) deficiency as a defender in his own end.

      A few questions I have;

      – Are the issues that depressed his performance resolved? (Are we even sure what they were?)

      – What role is he likely to play on the Wheaties this year?

      – Who is his likely defense partner?

      – How quality is the pairing?

      – How good is the team overall?

      – What does his timeline project as? Two years plus?

      Is he the second coming of John Carlson?

      • Truculence

        “Are the issues that depressed his performance resolved?”

        If the kid has fixed the glaring defensive issues that plagued him throughout his career over the course of a month, I would label the Flames development camp as the greatest hockey institution in history.

  • The Last Big Bear

    This kid is a loooooong way from being an impact NHLer.

    There’s even less to say about him than there is about most just-drafted late round prospects (ie, He has some good tools and performed well in his specific role in juniors, and if PLAYER NAME manages to put it all together, he might make the NHL someday)

    At least with Kanzig there is an interesting philosophical discussion about drafting to be had (ie This guy is an extreme outlier who could realistically be the biggest boom or biggest bust of the entire draft).

    Erik Roy is just a wait-and-see prospect.

    Good luck kid, we’re pulling for ya. Keep your stick on the ice.

    • Im okay with this sort of long-shot in the 5th round to tell you the truth. He put up eye-popping offensive numbers as a rookie in the league and has a bunch of tools that are good or better. If he can start to think the game at any sort of level in the defensive end, he could be a keeper.

      • The Last Big Bear

        It’s the 5th round. There are nothing but long-shots.

        I don’t think he was a bad pick at all. The opposite, in fact. He was a very vanilla pick, exactly the kind of kid that you start looking at when you’re deep in the draft.

        Which is why there’s just not a whole lot to say about this pick yet, as opposed to more controversial picks.

        I honestly don’t know if there is such a thing as a bad 5th round pick.

        “Did you play major junior? No, okay, well were you the best player on your team? Oh, well then are you really big or a really fast skater? No? Well, you seem to be very honest, and I like honesty, we’ll take you.”

  • Roy’s got good offensive upside, as made evident by his power-play numbers and his fairly strong five-on-five play. Unfortunately, his defensive game needs work. It doesn’t help that Brandon was very middling last year.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I prefer the Detroit method of acquiring face-punchers (ala Darren McCarty).

    Have such ridiculous depth in scoring forwards that you can take one of your flash young prospects and tell him:

    “Look kid, I know you led the OHL in scoring, but we have a 30+ goal scoring Keith Primeau on the 3rd line. You ARE, however, one of the better face-punchers on the team, so go out there and PUNCH SOME FACE!!”

    How awesome would it be if the Flames had so much forward depth that it made the most sense to groom Jankowski as a goon?

  • everton fc

    Roy is more reliable in situations than his -32 indicates. He was on the ice a lot, for a poor team.

    He has great reach. He definitely has room to add bulk on his frame. He doesn’t take dumb penalties. His point totals on a bad team should excite us. Impressive. Real impressive. His slapshot from the point is an absolute rocket.

    He’s a good kid. I’ve been pulling for him for a while. The level of dedication and time he put in as a kid, up until now, is impressive. He’s got a good work ethic. A mature work ethic, me thinks. Hoping he can help Ferland adjust.

    I have a good feeling about Roy’s potential. Especially if Troy Ward can work with him in Abby, someday soon. I’m sure he’ll get a look there before Brandon’s season begins.

    Some good articles to put Roy in perspective as a player and a person, below. When’s Ferland get his Development Camp Review?! 🙂