"Bonjour! Je m'appelle Nicolas Roy et je suis un joueur de hockey des Golden Knights de Vegas..." or, that's how he'd probably introduce himself in French. It'd be a unique way to introduce yourself to a random person (my apologies, for it's been a while since I've used French).
Anyways, Nicolas Roy has done an excellent job of introducing himself to the Golden Knights faithful recently. How well? He's posted eight points in his past five games (two goals, six assists). Currently, he sits at nine goals for the season and is projected to tie his career-high total of 15 (2021-2022).
Which begs the question: Does the native of Amos, Quebec, deserve to be in Vegas's top six? What reasons do we have for adding this dynamic center to the fold? It's wise to explore how Roy fits in the grand scheme of things, n'est pas?
Nicolas Roy is a Clutch Player
Nicolas Roy has developed a reputation as being a reliable player in crunch time. The Golden Knights pride themselves on incredible goals in a pinch, which is where Roy delivers. Just look at his five game-winning goals from last season and tell me this guy doesn't have ice in his veins.
He's even shown himself to be a postseason player. With a tres grand presence in last season's Stanley Cup playoffs (three goals, eight assists), Roy has built up his rep as a reliable player in all facets, making him a threat. Incroyable!
The center has also proven he can go to the net full-bore, using his big frame (6'4") to cause problems. That can create chaos for opposing defenses, who aren't equipped to handle large, aggressive forwards, saying "ZUT ALORS" in the process.
Imagine having that coming in the waning minutes of a hockey game. If the Golden Knights are down a goal, they can just turn to Nicolas Roy to create mayhem. It's a refreshing change of pace, especially with Vegas being down key players.
Nicolas Roy is an Offensive Force
Being clutch isn't the only thing Nicolas Roy brings to the table, though. Aside from having a laissez-faire attitude about going full-bore, he's an offensive threat. He can play in all situations, making him versatile and viable for Vegas's top six.
That's especially true on the forecheck, where he can use his big frame to create havoc. That plays into Roy's versatility, making him an even bigger threat. Bruce Cassidy looks for players like this in his top six, making the Quebec native perfect for the Golden Knights.
If you want to look at how reliable Roy is, look at how well he takes care of the puck compared to the turnovers he generates. Last season, he had 13 giveaways (compared to 45 takeaways). While that number has gone up this season (16), the center still has more takeaways than giveaways this season (26). Career-wise, he has 145 takeaways to 86 giveaways. Now that's tres bien!
What Nicolas Roy's Future Holds in Vegas
Roy has three years left on his current deal with the Golden Knights, getting paid $3 million a year. Both Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault are unrestricted free agents after this season, which leaves Roy with an opportunity to get his promotion. Roy has worked enough to earn himself a higher position regardless of who stays, although it would more likely be Marchessault based on Vegas's depth at center.
The good thing about the former Carolina Hurricanes pick is he's only 26 years old. If he continues his upward trajectory as a standout center, Roy can expect to get a good deal. The Golden Knights love having versatility on their team, which is where the center fits in perfectly.
In any case, Nicolas Roy should enjoy the ride. He deserves to be a permanent fixture in Vegas's top six soon and has elevated his game. While it certainly won't be enough to warrant an All-Star selection this year, he deserves more recognition as a member of the Knights. After all, c'est la vie for our beloved Quebec native!