Scouting Reports: Olivier Roy

Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009 01:38PM

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Olivier Roy was at one point thought by many to be the best goaltender in the draft, but he slipped to the Oilers with the 133rd overall pick. I’ve scoured the internet for scouting reports, which are listed below, and then formed a composite report based on them, found at the end of the article.

Anonymous QMJHL GM:

"He's a good junior goalie but if he's a good NHL goalie, I'm not sure. He's small, we hear a lot of NHL scouts tell us that in the new rules where the defenceman can do nothing in front of the net, all the forwards rush the net and they look at goaltenders over six feet. He's good, he's a gamer. He's quick, he's fast but I'm not sure about him physically. No doubt he's a good goaltender at the junior level but for the NHL, not sure."

Chris Bordeleau, Scout with the Central Scouting Bureau:

“He catches your attention. He's steady and he plays well all the time.”

Mario Durocher, Head Coach in Cape Breton:

"He competes and he’s a passionate player. For me, those are two important qualities you need to be successful upstairs (in the NHL). Everybody will talk about his size because he’s not six-foot-two or six-foot-three, but he competes really hard. The other thing for me is he showed up in the shootout all season long. He didn’t allow a goal all year. It was the same thing in the ADT game (vs. the Russian all-stars) and the Top Prospects game. They had some contests and he didn’t allow one goal. "And the first game against Quebec in the playoffs, there were 15,000 people and they were yelling his name but he still kept his focus. He played seven periods that game and he was excellent. Those are all qualities that you don’t find in too many young kids. And he reminds me of Marc-Andre (Fleury) when he’s challenging the shooter. He’s really efficient when he’s doing that." "He’s got the legs to improve. He’s a fast guy and he’s like Marc-Andre. He makes the first save and then sometimes he gets out of position, but he will do everything to make the next save. The player will think it’s a sure goal but he could get caught on that. I think that’s a good quality. The rest can be improved. The speed will be better upstairs but Olivier is a young kid and I think he will work on his (shortcomings)."

Max Giese, Scout with McKeen’s Hockey:

"I like Olivier Roy because he really knows how to challenge shooters. He's probably the quickest and best reflexes in this draft as a goaltender. I really liked him when I saw a little bit of him and I thought he was the best guy I saw in the CHL but I think the guy that's probably going to go higher is Scott Stajcer. (Stajcer's) bigger and more polished. (Roy) has that Québec butterfly-type thing down to a science."

Scott Gouthro, Goaltending Coach with Cape Breton:

“Olivier Roy has extremely quick reflexes and when he challenges is extremely hard to beat. He continues to work on his puckhandling which is a key tool for the next level. He is a warrior, his competitive nature and desire to win is exceptional.”

Al Jensen, Scout with the Central Scouting Bureau:

"I could see where he thinks that he's a hybrid goalie, but I think he's still more of a butterfly guy personally from what I saw. But he does have those instincts to realize that he doesn't have to go down on every shot. He knows when he has to go down on a shot and when he doesn't because of his terrific sense of being able to read the play. He's not a big goalie, which is why he doesn't always go down on the first shot." "Sometimes a goalie's leg strength isn't as strong as you need in the NHL. To be a goalie in the NHL, you need a strong leg drive to get across the crease quick enough. With low passes and one-timers you need to get over there, but he has that strength -- unlike most other goalies that are his age. On one play I saw a guy pass it across the crease low and he was right there. He's very determined and he plays in the paint a bit, but near the top of the crease. He's not one to go way out."

Olivier Roy on himself:

"I try to be a hybrid goalie. I use butterfly a lot, but I don't like to butterfly on every shot. I am somewhere between a butterfly and a stand-up goalie. "Most every goalie is a butterfly, but I like to be a little bit different. A lot of guys go around the defense and I like to move my feet and be quicker and deflect the rebounds to the corners."

Kyle Woodlief, Red Line Report:

Roy has great athleticism and flexibility and is a tough-minded competitor who never gives up on a play. While he's fairly advanced technique-wise, the problem for this typical butterfly netminder is his penchant for constantly going down to the ice too early and swimming around the crease. He gets by with that style in the junior ranks, but at only 5-11 and 163 pounds, he's too small to cover the corners, and we suspect that pro shooters will pick him apart up high and take advantage of his habit of overcommitting.

Final Picture: Olivier Roy

Pros

  • Good mental makeup: Roy’s a passionate and highly-competitive player who maintains his focus even under adverse conditions.
  • Good athleticism: Roy has great lower-leg strength and quick reflexes. He can make the highlight-reel save.
  • Decent butterfly technique: Roy challenges shooters well and doesn’t always go down on the first shot.

Cons

  • Size: Roy’s small, both in height and weight, and he’s unable to cover the top of the net because of it. There are also concerns about his ability to handle crease-crashers at the NHL level.
  • Butterfly Goaltender: Because Roy is smaller and plays a butterfly style, he simply doesn’t cover enough of the top of the net. He likes to think of himself as a hybrid goaltender, but he probably needs to move away from the butterfly style a little more to keep from being picked apart while he’s on his knees.

I like the selection, especially given how far into the draft it was made. Focus and competitiveness can’t be taught and are important qualities in a goaltender, and I’m not nearly as scared of small goaltenders as most NHL scouts seem to be right now (Tim Thomas being perhaps the best example from this past year). Roy could end up never playing an NHL game, but he’s a fine risk to take in the fifth round.

Something that isn’t mentioned in the quotes above is that Roy has been a starting goaltender since he was 16 years old; that much experience at a young age can only help his development.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Ender
June 29 2009, 01:56PM
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That actually reads a lot like Dan Blackburn.

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#2 ScubaSteve
June 29 2009, 01:57PM
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I agree with you Willis, the size thing isn't that big of a deal, and 5'11" isn't terribly small, only 1 inch shorter than Nabakov, same height as Thomas, most goalies in the NHL right now look to be about 6'1" on average, so only 2 inches shorter than average? Not a big worry if he has the skills.

From what I've read about Roy, this could be a darkhorse pick that may pay off 4-5 years down the road.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 02:01PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

From what I’ve read about Roy, this could be a darkhorse pick that may pay off 4-5 years down the road.

That's just it. He was a low risk guy where he was taken, and he could payoff in a big way or do nothing. I'd much rather spend low picks on boom/bust guys than bet a little bit safer on role players.

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#4 I'm a Scientist!
June 29 2009, 02:17PM
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Dumb question: is he Patrick Roy's son? Perhaps genetics is on his side too?

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#5 Harlie
June 29 2009, 02:31PM
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He is 6' tall is he not? Isn't Rolli 6'1"??

Scientist, Roy is no relation to P.Roy.

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#6 Teufel
June 29 2009, 02:34PM
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I think he's roughly the same size Marty Turco was when he was drafted back in '94. Turco was drafted 124th overall and look how well his career has turned out thus far.

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#7 Jay Gray
June 29 2009, 02:43PM
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Beauty...I was just looking for scouting reports on this guy this morning.

I agree...considering he was drafted so low, it's a low risk/high reward type of situation.

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#8 EMAC
June 29 2009, 02:48PM
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It's so hard to tell whether goalies will pan out or not. Steve Mason played only 12 regular season games in his draft year. It seems like lots of first round goalies don't make it. So I like this pick, especially waiting until later in the draft. It probably puts less pressure on Roy and makes him want to prove everyone wrong by not drafting him earlier like he thought he would go. Come on next Grant Fuhr!

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#9 dyckster
June 29 2009, 02:48PM
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Great article Mr. Willis, did you happen to notice the lack of consistency between scouts? You get one guy saying "he does have those instincts to realize that he doesn’t have to go down on every shot." (Jensen) and then another states "his penchant for constantly going down to the ice too early and swimming around the crease..." (Woodlief) It's funny how different scouts can see the same player and come up with a completely different synopsis.

Were they watching the same guy?

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#10 Shifty203
June 29 2009, 02:49PM
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@ Jonathan Willis

Can you find out which oiler RFA's got qualifying offers from the team today? As far as I know, the deadline for qualifying offers is 5pm ET today. I did a quick google search but could only find info on the sharks and bolts RFA's so far.

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#11 I'm a Scientist!
June 29 2009, 02:53PM
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@ Harlie: Thank you. Damn.

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#12 Harlie
June 29 2009, 03:39PM
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@ I'm a Scientist!:

haha, I know!

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#13 B-rad
June 29 2009, 04:46PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I couldn't agree more, like in the previous post, about guys better suited for a third round selection then Abney. What the hell, I know they want to toughen up the farm, but....I bet he was able to come to camp as a free agent on a tryout....

It's like they get all anxious, like some old farmer at an auction....then over pays for something you can get on kijiji for nothing.

go figure.

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#14 Kent
June 29 2009, 04:56PM
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Tim Thomas is 5'11" isn't he?

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#15 Chris
June 29 2009, 05:01PM
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I like having a smaller/ disadvantaged goalie with a chip on shoulder in the fold: Dubs and JDD have a natural edge... in a few years maybe Roy can push them a bit...

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#16 BMyhres74/33
June 29 2009, 05:12PM
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One thing we can be sure of. He's a goalie,s o he's a little bit of a strange bird!

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#17 Rick
June 30 2009, 09:32AM
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I sure wish there was a way to weed out what is lip service and what is a genuine opinion.

You always hear scouts and coaches talk about compete level and grit and mental toughness and so on but as often as not it doesn't seem to actually be there.

Recent case in point being Todd Richards describing Kyle Broziak as being gritty.

Anyways...

If Roy's size is the only real issue but his compete level is what they are suggesting then he may have no problems getting to the next level.

Size is a problem for goaltenders that are puck blockers, guys like Thomas (who you mentioned) are puck stoppers and that extra, do what it takes, drive is more than enough to compensate.

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#18 risto
June 30 2009, 10:28AM
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Harlie wrote:

He is 6′ tall is he not? Isn’t Rolli 6′1″?? Scientist, Roy is no relation to P.Roy.

Roli's not 6'1". He's actually extremely slight, like Hasek. I would venture he's an inch or two below that. I don't think height is as important, and the Penguins goalie made the save of the year on Lidstrom with 1 second left on instinct alone. Deslauriers and Dubnyk are both taller than Steve Nash.

I'm psyched we drafted a goalie, and we should draft at least 1 good prospect a year. It is THE most important position, and depth is paramount.

Those draft threads are hilarious! Well done nation.

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#19 Jonathan Willis
June 30 2009, 10:53AM
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@ Rick:

That's why I like Woodlief. He isn't always right, but he's one of the few who will go on record and put his name behind some criticism. If he like's Roy's mental toughness, Roy probably has it.

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