Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy wasn’t slated to be in the lineup when the Laval Rocket played the Springfield Thunderbirds in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final of the Calder Cup Playoffs at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA. After signing an amateur tryout contract with the Rocket Tuesday, Roy did however make the trip south to Western Massachusetts. As Laval Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle pointed out following an optional skate in Springfield Saturday morning, whether Roy or fellow top Canadiens prospect Riley Kidney into the lineup at all during this best-out-of-7 series, the experience they will get being around the Laval Rocket deep into a playoff run, will be invaluable.
“It’s great; if they play, to me it’s a plus,” the Laval Rocket head coach told Montreal Hockey Now prior to Game 1 at the MassMutual Center. “If they don’t play, they’re still learning from the older guys. Just from learning and watching in the stands, being in our meeting to know how it works and the preparation it takes to get there. So for them just to be around the players and around the coaches and stuff like that, the organization and everything, it’s great for them. It will help them in the future.”
Roy addressed the media in a Zoom call on Wednesday and admitted that he was not expecting to be heading on the road with the Laval Rocket this spring.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Roy said. “It was at least some good news. I was sad [that we were eliminated], but to have this chance I was very happy.”
Joshua Roy agreed with his new head coach on how valuable this experience will be as he travels on the Laval Rocket bus, stays with the team on the road and goes through the pre and post-game routines of an AHL player.
“To see the guys will be beneficial for me,” Roy said. “They are pros. To see how they carry themselves off ice and on the ice will be good for me.”
A Laval Rocket team source told MHN Saturday that while Roy won’t play for the Rocket in Game 1 Saturday and Game 2 on Sunday evening, he could see some ice time when the series shifts north to Laval for Games 3 (Wednesday), Game 4 (Friday), and potential Game 5 next Saturday. Roy said, he will be ready to go if Houle needs him.
“I’ll be ready if JF tells me I’m in the lineup,” Roy said.
That was enough for the Canadiens bring him along for the ride with the Laval Rocket and Roy is thrilled that they’re showing this much faith in him already.
“They’re showing they have confidence in me and they have been happy with my season,” Roy said. “Most things on the bucket list have been checked off but the ultimate goal is playing for the Canadiens one day. That’s what I want. These are just little steps towards that and the big step is to play for them.”