Connect with us

Habs Prospects

Canadiens Prospect Review: Joshua Roy’s Impressive Evolution



Montreal Canadiens forward Joshua Roy

Welcome back to the 2023 Montreal Canadiens Prospect Review series.

Today we’ll be taking a look at one of the most well-rounded prospects in the system, Sherbrooke Phoenix forward Joshua Roy.

Roy is the fourth player we’ve reviewed in this series, following reviews of defencemen Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom, as well as forward Riley Kidney.

By the Numbers

The bar was set rather high for Roy in 2022-23, especially since he was coming off a great 2021-22 season that saw him lead the entire QMJHL in scoring with 51 goals and 68 assists in 66 games.

And though he was certainly one of the players expected to make a splash at the Canadiens’ development and training camp, Roy was quickly re-assigned to the Phoenix following a rather underwhelming showing.

It’s not that Roy played poorly, but given his pedigree and experience, he simply did not manage to stand out while forwards like Emil Heineman and Owen Beck stole the show.

It ended up being the best decision in Roy’s case, even though you could argue the QMJHL did not provide much of a challenge for the 19-year-old.

Roy scored 46 goals and 53 assists in 55 games, resulting in a 1.8-points-per-game scoring pace, the same scoring pace he established when he led the league in scoring the previous season.

He kept up his impressive production throughout the playoffs, where he scored 12 goals and 12 assists in 14 games, though he did struggle to score during the series versus the Halifax Mooseheads.

The 2021 fifth-round pick also earned a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championship, where he played a pivotal role for his home country.

He was used in every situation, including the final play of the tournament in which he set up Canada’s golden goal.

What The Prospect Experts Are Saying

Florence Normand: Roy already possesses a professional hockey shot. His Hockey IQ is well above average. He’s seen a significant improvement in his consistency since his first year in the QMJHL. His skating remains average. It’s not that he’s a bad skater, but it’s not a strength. He tends to control the play by slowing it down. His playing style runs much more east-west than north-south, and he’ll have to work on his 200-foot game to succeed in professional hockey. I’d argue he has top-9 potential.


Canadiens prospects Joshua Roy


David St-Louis: A prospect rarely manages to improve and develop his game as much as Roy has in Junior. He was pretty much only a rush scorer in his draft year, but now he’s so much more. His playmaking game has improved significantly and his defensive game, too. He has a shot that can score in the NHL, but now, if he doesn’t make it as a scorer, it’s possible to envision him filling more of a defensive role.

Source: Draft Experts Discuss NHL Potential.


Roy was drafted as a player that only possessed a strong offensive game. His defensive value wasn’t low, it was almost non-existent.

It’s not the only reason he fell to the fifth round, more on that later, but it certainly played a factor.

But once Roy was traded from the Saint John Sea Dogs to the Phoenix, things quickly changed. We can give credit to Sherbrooke head coach Stephane Julien, who worked diligently with Roy to improve his defensive play.

However, we must give credit to Roy as well, seeing as he recognized he needed to improve upon his weaknesses if he was to ever play professional hockey, which is a rather mature conclusion for a young hockey player.

It was Roy that approached Julien to begin the hard work.

And it paid off in spades for the Canadiens prospect.

Roy went from a player who couldn’t identify his own goalie in a police lineup to a player that was relied upon to play in every crucial situation. To the point that Roy became a mainstay on the penalty kill.

He complimented his shot, which may be his greatest strength, with fantastic playmaking, which allowed him to control the pace of the play.

Simply put, Roy evolved from a pure goal-scorer to a well-rounded prospect in just three productive years with the Phoenix.


If I had to find a few nits to pick with this particular Canadiens prospect, I’d argue that Roy seemed bored at times in the QMJHL. That’s not to say he didn’t provide a legitimate effort every night, but it was clear that his level of play would rise once the game was on the line.

One of the main reasons Roy was available in the fifth round was that he was perceived to be a very lazy player during his time with Saint John. Or rather, he simply relied on his natural talent rather than working within the system put in place by his coach.

It’s been three years since Roy has shown legitimate issues when it comes to his effort, but it’s the type of perception that will follow a hockey player around for years, if not longer.

He’ll need to maintain a staunch effort level once he makes the jump to professional hockey, or his coach will quickly relegate him to the bottom six.

Roy can also stand to improve his skating, which isn’t terrible, but is far from an asset.

What’s Next

Roy could return to the QMJHL for a fifth season, but there’s no value in returning him to Junior hockey at this stage in his development.

He’s ready to make the biggest jump of his career.

The question becomes whether he will be able to carve out a role with the Canadiens or join the Laval Rocket to get a better understanding of the systems and strategies employed in professional hockey.

A strong showing at training camp could lead to the former, but when it comes to prospects like Roy who are extremely talented but not quite elite, it’s always a good idea to let them acclimatize to the AHL before thrusting them into the NHL spotlight.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

In ~2 years from now, I see Roy as our 4th line RW, alongside Davidson (C) and Heineman (LW).


If you are saying permanently, then all the fuss on Roy would have been a waste. Has to be at least a 3rd line scorer.