Call it a dream come true.
With the first-overall selection in the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft, the Saint John Sea Dogs called the name of budding forward Joshua Roy, a talented, offensive player fresh off leading his bantam AAA league with 33 goals and 60 points in only 27 appearances in 2017-18. After moving up to the midget ranks the following season, Roy was back at it again, topping the Levis Chevaliers with 88 points in 42 games.
The St-Georges-de-Beauce, Que., native now has the chance to graduate to the next level this coming season as he looks to earn a roster spot with the Sea Dogs, while his participation this week in Hockey Canada’s U17 summer development camp is sure to help him prepare for training camp in Saint John.
“I am proud to be selected by Team Canada and I am very excited to compare myself to all of the best players in the country,” Roy told the Canadian Hockey League. “I am an offensive player so I am going to try to score some goals and create offensive plays.”
Among the 112 players attending the camp – counting 45 from the Ontario Hockey League, 41 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and 26 from the Western Hockey League – Roy will compete for one of 66 openings that will represent Team Canada Red, White, and Black at the Nov. 2-9 tournament that sees hosting duties split between Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask. Final rosters will be announced in late October.
While Roy is a new face on the national stage, he brings a level of familiarity after appearing in six games with Team Quebec at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in February, a tournament in which he put up a team-leading 13 points en route to a gold medal finish. No doubt that performance played a part in his eventual first-overall selection by the Sea Dogs.
“I was very proud to have been selected first,” Roy recalled. “It was incredible. I waited for that moment for a lot of years. There are a lot of good players in the country so I need to work hard to continue to be first.”
That means an offseason full of training where Roy has spent three days a week on the ice, readying for the adjustment that will come in graduating from the midget ranks to making his freshmen debut in the QMJHL. Between Team Canada’s summer camp as well as a pre-camp event with the Sea Dogs that introduced the soon-to-be 16-year-old to his future teammates, Roy feels he will have had plenty of preparation ahead of his first junior hockey season.
“I am going to be 16 years old, and the players are going to be older and more physical, so I’ll need to take a step in my physical play and I’ll be okay,” Roy detailed. “(Saint John) is a young team. The staff is very good. I am very excited for it.”