Komets at Utah
When: 9 p.m. today and Saturday
Where: West Valley City, Utah
Radio: 1190 AM, 107.5 FM
Marco Roy spent his summer skating alongside some of the best hockey players in the world, taking part in 3-on-3 skates in his hometown of Broisbriand, Quebec, with the likes of Alexandre Burrows, Antoine Roussel and Derick Brassard.
Those three have 2,051 games of NHL experience among them, and Roy couldn't help but learn through osmosis; he's proved it so far this season with the Komets by totaling five goals and a team-best 11 points.
“In the offseason, I trained hard with NHL guys,” Roy said. “We have a great group in Broisbriand, where I'm from. We have 3-on-3 and work on quick space and I just learn from those NHL guys. I'm still young and I want to move up.”
Roy, 23, was selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL draft by the Edmonton Oilers, during a prolific junior career that saw him tally 26 goals and 50 points in 59 games in 2014-15.
He has bounced around since then. He wasn't signed to an entry-level contract by the Oilers, re-entered the draft in 2015 and wasn't picked, then ended up back with the Oilers to play for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, for 42 games in 2015-16. He had eight goals and 20 points in 42 games with Bakersfield, which sent him down to the ECHL for 10 games with Norfolk, where he had one goal and six points.
Last season, he was in training camp with the Vancouver Canucks, along with Burrows, and then spent the season with their minor-league affiliates – the AHL's Utica Comets and ECHL's now-defunct Alaska Aces – before signing with the Komets on the eve of this year's training camp.
Since then, he has been a revelation, scoring at least one goal in four games, including one off a rebound during a power play in Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the defending champion Colorado Eagles in Loveland, Colorado. Roy has had two three-point games for the Komets (4-3-1), who take on the Utah Grizzlies (5-5-2) today and Saturday at West Valley City, Utah.
“I really appreciate being here. I like the team. I like the coach. The fans have been really impressive,” Roy said. “It's a big rink for an ECHL team, and it's been impressive. I'm just having fun. I'm playing hockey and that's it.”
Roy has meshed well with the other prolific-scoring newcomers, including Artur Tyanulin, Tyson Fawcett, Ralph Cuddemi and Zac Larraza, though coach Gary Graham would like to see his team play with more consistency.
Roy, 6-foot-1, 182 pounds, believes the Komets have enough talent to improve upon last season, when they had the fourth-best regular-season record in the ECHL and lost to the Toledo Walleye in the second round of the playoffs.
“We have a good group of leadership, a lot of guys who have played a lot of games,” Roy said. “As you can see, (Daniel) Maggio can play defense or forward and he had two goals (in a game last weekend) and that's impressive. We just need to play hard and then you get rewarded. Every guy here has skill and must work hard. ... We can go far in the playoffs and win that Cup. It's hard, but let's win some games.”