Monday, 12 January 2015

Roy Looking for Big Second Half

Eric Roy
  It’s a big second half of the season for veteran Brandon Wheat Kings’ defenceman Eric Roy.

  Barring an injury, Roy will become just the ninth player in team history to reach 300 games played later month.
  Roy was Brandon’s first round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft and joined the team as a 16-year old rookie at the start of the 2010-2011 season.
  The 20-year old is scheduled to play his 294th game Tuesday night in Edmonton and has already moved into 10th-place on the Wheat Kings’ all-time.
  “I’m trying to enjoy these last 29 games.  Time is going by so fast this season and, sure enough, my career is going to end but it has to end at some point,” said Roy after Brandon’s practice Monday afternoon in Edmonton, “I’m really thankful Kelly (McCrimmon) has kept me this long...I’ve really developed into the person I am today and it’s been a lot of fun.”
  The Beauval, Saskatchewan product has six points, all of them assists, in eight games since the Christmas break for the Wheat Kings while also recording a +5 rating.
  Roy missed the first six games of this season with a shoulder injury suffered while playing with his fellow Calgary Flames’ prospects at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. in mid-September.
  The 6-foot-3, 208 pound Roy says that injury actually hampered him for much of the first half of the season.
  “The first half was a bit of a struggle for me, coming back from my injury, I was kind of scared to get hit because of my shoulder but now the shoulder is fine and I’m just going out there every night for the guys,” said Roy, “I needed the Christmas break to rest my shoulder but other than that, I’ve just been going out there every game and playing to the best of my abilities, keeping the game simple and playing hard.”
  Roy was a fifth round pick of the Flames in the 2013 NHL Draft but has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the NHL team, another incentive for Roy to have a strong second half.
  “I try not to think about it.  I’ve got quite a while and a lot of work to do.  If it happens, it happens...I’m just here for the Brandon Wheat Kings, I’m not really thinking about the contract,” said Roy, “We have a good team here and we want to go far in playoffs and finish the season strong and if the contract happens, it happens.  It would definitely be very exciting but I just have to keep working and get better every day.”
  Roy says he keeps in consistent contact with the Flames, especially with Calgary’s Director of Player Development Ron Sutter.
  Sutter and Flames’ head coach Bob Hartley were among the interested observers at Brandon’s game Sunday in Calgary, and Sutter is expected to be in Edmonton again on Tuesday night when the Wheat Kings visit the Oil Kings.
Chaff...the Wheat Kings have lost 14 consecutive games at Rexall Place in Edmonton, including five playoffs contests.  The team’s last win in Edmonton was December 31, 2009...the Wheat Kings became the second WHL team and first in the Eastern Conference to reach 30 wins on Sunday in Calgary.  It’s the quickest (43 games) Brandon has reached 30 wins since the club went 30-11-4 (45 games) to start the 2002-2003 seaason... F Rihards Bukarts and D Ivan Provorov both joined the 40-point club in Sunday’s victory in Calgary.  The duo join team scoring leader Tim McGauley and Jayce Hawryluk as players with 40+ points, making Brandon the only WHL team with at least four players with 40+ point this season.

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