SUN Hockey Pool

Size doesn't matter for Oilers' Roy

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

The thing that surprised the Edmonton Oilers most about Olivier Roy at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, was the fact he was still available in the fifth round.

The native of Amqui, Que., was considered one of the top goaltenders heading in the draft and was coming off an outstanding season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

“The only thing that may have worked against him is that he was five-foot-11,” said Oilers assistant general manager Kevin Prendergast. “That’s the only think I can think of, because it certainly wasn’t his performance.

“He was one of the best goalies in the draft, and fundamentally, he’s exceptionally strong and was one of the four goalies and Canada’s junior camp this summer. Judging from the goalies that got picked ahead of him, they’re all bigger goalies.”

Now six-feet, and 165-pounds, Roy is still considered small by today’s goaltending standards.

Regardless, the 2008 QMJHL defensive rookie of the year, can stop the puck, which is all that matters in the long run.

He backstopped the Screaming Eagles to the second round of the playoffs last season, which included an incredible 65-save performance against the Quebec Remparts in a 3-2 quadruple overtime victory. The game was the second longest in the history of the league.

The Screaming Eagles, however, eventually went on to lose in seven games to Patrick Roy’s club.

“Post to post he’s exceptionally quick, but he plays big, he plays really tall in the net,” said Prendergast. “He’s a battler, he competes really hard. Cape Breton is supposed to have a really good team again this year, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he has a good year and he has an opportunity to play at the World Juniors.”

Roy (no relation to Patrick) finished the year in Cape Breton posting a 35-12-3 regular season record with a 2.84 goals against average and three shutouts.

The previous year, as a 16-year-old, he played in 47 games with the Screaming Eagles, winning 27 of them.

“I’m know I’m not the biggest guy, especially when you look at the size of some of the pros today like Roberto Luongo,” Roy said. “But I have to be able to manage that in order to be able to play in this league. I need to be a mix between a standup and a butterfly goalie. I guess that’s what you would call a hybrid goalie.

“That's the way I try to play the game. I just try to play to the maximum as I can, and try to do the best that I can.”

The Oilers selected Roy, 18, in the fifth round (133 overall) with their seventh pick, having dealt Kyle Brodziak to the Minnesota Wild in order to move up in the draft.

Roy is expected to be in goal tonight when the Oilers rookies take on the Vancouver Canucks rookies at the Black Gold Arena in Leduc.

They'll face the University of Alberta Golden Bears Friday at the Clare Drake Arena.

“I just want to show the coaches that I can play with all the guys here,” Roy said. “I’m also going to try to get some experience for the future and try to bring it back to my junior team too.”


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