It's about that time of year again. Another early first round exit, means early draft profiling, and starting to get some potential prospects in our scope. Personally, I love "draftology" and scouting, but doing it usually means that your season has ended, and that's just no fun.
The Detroit Red Wings have done a fantastic job of bolstering their forward prospects over the years with payers like Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin, Axel Holmström, Teemu Pulkkinen, and the list goes on. With the emergence of players like Xavier Ouellet, and Alexey Marchenko, who are seemingly knocking at the door for their chance at a full-time spot on the big stage, general manager Ken Holland and his band of merry men have some depth that needs to be filled this year. After taking centers in six of seven rounds in 2014, I think it would be wise for the Red Wings to stock up on some promising defensive prospects.
As I look at the draft class this year, go through name-by-name, it's clear that this is likely one of the strongest classes we have seen in the last decade. As of now, Detroit will be picking 19th overall. There's a slew of great names that could be available at that pick, assuming Ken Holland doesn't make the "two 2nd round picks for my 1st round pick" move. The first player on my list is Quebec-native Jérémy Roy. (No relation to Patrick, thank god.)
Name: Jérémy Roy
Born: May 14, 1997 -- Longueil, Quebec
Weight: 183 lbs.
No doubt about it, Roy's offensive instinct is his "bread and butter." He's a highly-gifted player who can visualize breakouts and offensive plays from his own zone. He has great passing abilities, and has a knack for seeing plays before they happen. Roy strikes me as a very cerebral player, who not only knows his position extremely well, but other positions. This gives him an edge, as he's a defenseman, but can think like a forward. Curtis Joe of EliteProspects weighs in on some of the intangibles that Roy has under his belt:
Roy possesses the intangibles of maturity and character that can't be taught, as well as the individual skill that turns heads every time he is on the ice.
He has a great frame for a 17-year-old player, coming in at 6'0" 183 lbs. He will surely keep growing as he gets older, and will put on muscle as he's brought into a professional system. The looming concern is that any defenseman like this might be prone to big defensive mistakes, but Roy is a prime example of being that two-way type of player. Yes, he thinks like a forward, but he knows his position extremely well, and can provide strong support in his own zone. Roy is a strong player who can contain forwards in his own zone with his knowledge, and his exceptional use of stick.
As always, the ever-knowing prospect guru, @TPLHockey had provided me some analysis of Jérémy Roy, and what he thinks of him:
Here’s a guy that’s bounced up and down the board all year. At one point, he was a potential top ten pick, though that ship seems to have sailed. He scores nearly a point-per-game (albeit, in the QMJHL, where final scores look like football scores) and has a high hockey IQ, which is a bit of a prerequisite for Red Wings picks. He’s not as big as Carlo, but is still fairly solid at 6’0, 183, and has an uncanny ability to spot guy on the ice that others may not notice.
STYLE COMPARISON: Drew Doughty
While Ken Holland and company will seek the best player available, I believe that with the talent pool of this year's NHL Draft class, and the dire need for a future defensive star, addressing this need should be on the cards for the Red Wings.
ISS RANKING: #23
NHL CSS RANKING: North American #21
Assuming Detroit holds onto the 19th overall pick (will only change to 18th if Calgary makes the conference finals), there's every reason to believe that Jérémy Roy will be available for the Red Wings to draft.
He's a special player, through and through. His knowledge for the game is marvelous, and could be considered a great asset to have even at the tender age of 17. Giving the way Detroit develops their prospects, Roy could turn out to be one of those Drew Doughty type players. One who can provide potent offense, and stout defense. Oh hey, he shoots right, too. Put him in your scope, Kenny.
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(music is dorky in this one, but it gives some great shots of how he plays in both zones)
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