Unsigned second-round pick Marco Roy stays with the Oilers’ organization

On Tuesday, Marco Roy returned to the Edmonton Oilers. Sort of.

The Oilers opted not to sign the No. 56 overall pick in 2013 to an NHL contract, but he will be in the system next year on an AHL deal. It’s a bright move by the club and keeps an interesting prospect somewhere the team can keep an eye on him.

Roy the Prospect

Here’s how Red Line Report described Roy in their 2013 Draft Preview:

While thought of as a grinder who brings passion and intensity to each shift (which is accurate), that is short-changing his skill level. Good skater with speed and balance, and accelerates well. Wins a lot of races for loose pucks and is always 1st into corners. Works his bag off every shift and comes back hard on the backcheck. He’s an absolute buzzsaw with a motor that never quits. If his team loses the puck, he wants to go and get it back immediately. Stays in constant motion in the offensive zone, making him very difficult to check or contain. Soft hands for both giving and receiving passes. Gets shots away quickly around the slot and shows good accuracy. Competes like a bastard and always has his head in the game. Rugged and persistent on the forecheck. Reliable player at both ends who is continually improving. Also 6’1″ with a nice frame to fill out.

It’s a nice write-up, painting a picture of a fast, tenacious, defensively responsible forward with some offensive skill, too. The trouble is that his offensive game has been trending in the wrong direction since draft day:

  • 2012-13: 65 games, 29 goals, 67 points (1.03 points/game)
  • 2013-14: 39 games, 14 goals, 35 points (0.90 points/game)
  • 2014-15: 59 games, 26 goals, 50 points (0.85 points/game)

That last season falls into the Kale Kessy/Mitch Moroz range at around the same age; Roy simply isn’t producing the way an offensive prospect needs to. It’s dangerous to write a player like Roy off – every coach likes a quick skater that “works his bag off every shift” and “competes like a bastard” and has an idea where the defensive zone is – but he has to find a way to increase his scoring because he’s not big enough to stay in the league just chipping in here and there.

If he finds his scoring touch, though, he’ll be an awfully nice player to have kicking around the system.

Asset Management

Peter Chiarelli2

Using AHL deals as a way to get around the NHL’s 50-man list is just smart business. An entry-level contract for a player like Roy can be a big risk because it takes up a space that may be useful for somebody else up for three whole years.

The Oilers have been doing this a fair bit recently. Josh Winquist and Mitch Holmberg both joined the organization on AHL deals as rookie pros. Winquist started in the ECHL and worked his way up; the organization liked him enough to bring him back on another minor-league deal after a nice run with the Barons. Holmberg scored 62 goals in his last year of junior, but was less successful as a pro and would up below the 0.5 points/game mark in the ECHL.

Holmberg in the organization on an AHL deal is fine because there’s no risk, but if the Oilers had signed him to an entry-level contract they’d now have to look forward to two more years of having a mediocre ECHL’er clogging up a spot on their 50-man list. They’ve done it before – Tyler Bunz’s ELC just ended after three seasons with three different ECHL teams – and it’s one of those things that must just eat away at a manager when he realizes there’s a useful body on waivers but that he’s already at 49 contracts.

For the Oilers, this was the best possible way for the situation to end. They’ve kept around a guy who might be a useful prospect, and they’ve done it at no risk whatsoever.


  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    How does this work?

    His AHL rights are owned by the Condors, but his NHL rights are owned by no one so he’s an NHL free agent right? Hypothetically, could an NHL team sign him to an NHL contract at any time?

    Not like I’m worried about that happening or anything. I’m just curious.

  • This is definitely a smart move by the Oilers and a happy moment for the kid to be part of an NHL team system.

    It keeps the cupboards of the Oilers still somewhat stocked and allows the kid to be still developed by the Oilers….al the while with not being on a 50 player list…Love it!!!

    Roy can still break out with a good NHL future but the pressure is taken off the Oilers because of the Condors having him on an AHL contract.

    JW … (or any one else who knows the answer)My one question is… Can the kid still be brought into this upcoming Penticton tournament as part of the prospects or does he have to be on an ELC with the Oilers?

  • stonedtodeath61

    The past management placed players in positions and added very little competiion so that player had to win his spot. This might have been done to attrack UFA’s to the Oilers.

    PC is creating competition at every position, I strongly prefer this type of team building.

    • Scott Zerr

      As far as I know, they are not signed yet.

      Speculating here, but they might be looking for something like an AHL-only contract instead of a 2-way deal.

      I don’t see them fitting in Bakersfield but they could fill some holes in Norfolk.

  • Scott Zerr

    This article doesn’t mention that although he was an Oil second round draft pick from 2013 he re-entered the draft in 2015 and went undrafted. Not even one team thought him worth a 7th round gamble (even with 2 years more development than when we originally drafted him). The kool aid drinkers appear to be happy about this. To me it’s just another example of incompetance from the smartest guys in the room. It was a complete waste of a second round pick. Oh, but now we get to “keep an eye on him”. Lol. Just like every other team can keep an eye on him. Ya, like that’s how you build a team. I sure hope Chia isn’t taking any advice from the previous ass clowns who were failing terribly but still are a key part of management. Can you hear that? it’s the rest of the league laughing at us.

    • Scott Zerr

      For real mate I picked that up right away in this article as well. It is disgusting that people trashed your post. Pass that kool aid around!

      I understand he was on a very good Quebec team and on the third line.. but as a vet with “offensive skills” you would have thought he would have been used more wisely.

      Still think it is a good signing for the CONDORS but Oil fans and Oilersnation… this is nothing to write an article about or rejoice

    • Scott Zerr

      I am very sure that due to age he did not re-enter the draft but went straight to UFA

      True no other team picked him up, but there is no downside. He either does well and gets an ELF or doesn’t do well and does not take up space on the 50 man list.

      • Scott Zerr

        Thanks for the correction on the re-draft part.

        Still frustrates me that a second round pick was wasted on him. Hopefully MacT is only fetching coffee for Chia and not providing player advice.

  • Scott Zerr

    Winquist was Condors best forward last season till he got called up to OKC.

    Holmberg never really seemed to fit in and was traded by OKC/Bakersfield (1 assist in 8 games) to Utica/Elmira.

  • Scott Zerr

    It wouldn’t be fair to Roy unless we mentioned the injuries that plagued him in junior. He played a lot with a significant hand injury when he should have probably been on IR and he also had a decent concussion that likely affected his game. If he can completely, rest up from these and show up in tip-top condition there may be more there than we realize.