MONTREAL – So impressive was shortstop Joshua Roy’s performance at the Junior World Championships that his coach Stéphane Julien admitted his teammates took pleasure in teasing him.
Julian, like all of his other coaches, was mainly accustomed to betting on Roy’s tremendous offensive talent, which this forward drafted in the fifth round by the Canadian in 2021.
“It took everyone by surprise, me first. I got sick of being asked why I didn’t use it in an abbreviated way,” Julian said with a smile.
“But at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me too much because his hockey sense is really higher than anyone else’s. It also shows his abilities and his physical strength. He has proven that he can play in all positions and will be It’s good for him.”
With his gold medal around his neck, Roy looked as humble as ever. But he knows that this enriching experience with the Canadian formation will be invaluable to climbing the next levels.
“It went really well, I came out of there very confident. In terms of my defensive game as well,” said Roy, who knew better than anyone he had to become a more complete player.
“If you look at my game at the beginning of the year compared to now, it’s much better. I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s moving in the right direction, ”continued the author of the assist on goal, confirming Canada’s title.
For a player as smart as Roy, simply rubbing shoulders with a phenomenon like Conor Bedard was just gold.
“Of course, everyone wants him with the Canadiens, it’s really impressive to see what he does. He’s so humble. A lot of people say he looks arrogant on the ice (in the way he plays), but that’s not really the case,” Roy said.
Incidentally, the left forward said Shane Wright, Dylan Guinter and Brandt Clark gave inspiring leadership during the event. He also plans to keep some elements of their approach to pass on to his Phoenix teammates.
Supervising closely at Sherbrooke, Julien was one of the architects of Roy’s remarkable development. His way of acting during this major competition makes him see the rest of his career with great optimism.
“He especially ticked the consistency box. To play under so much pressure at the WJC, when millions of people were watching, and I never got nervous. He was capable of playing at a high caliber. When you look at what it takes to play in Montreal, that says a lot about his ability.” “He has shown he can play on another level soon,” said Julien.
A few meters away from him, Roy quickly thanked his coach. But the latter insisted on praising his seriousness in order to adopt the plan.
“In training, the most developed player. When we were skating, he was last and he’s finished first now,” he added as an example.
What follows promises to be very interesting for Roy and Julien remains confident he can add another tag to his physical arsenal during the holiday season after such a busy season.
“On a physical level he can still climb a step and he’s improved his intensity a lot, which he has to maintain. But he’s already proving that he’s not a guy you put on your ass easily. He’s on the right track,” summed up Julien.
His influence would be seen in Sherbrooke as Phoenix aspired to the grand honour. However, the competition promises to be so fierce that many organizations have pushed the pedal down. We’ll have to see if Roy can end his year on another magical note.
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