Current Rank: 16
Summer 2007 Rank: 18
In 2003, long after the TV cameras and most fans had pulled an Elvis, the Edmonton Oilers selected Kyle Brodziak 214th overall.
At 215, they selected Mathieu Roy.
That’s a point in the draft when most teams are selecting obscure Europeans or overage players. Both Brodziak and Roy were eligible for previous Entry Drafts so in a sense they were overagers although not in the normal “Kari Haakana at 28″ draft we used to see often each year (NHL has closed that loophole as I understand it).
Most fans like a guy like Mathieu Roy because he’s a classic underdog. He’s a strong player who can deliver punishing hits, he came from a long way back to get here, and he displays a certain desire that makes itself known in unusual ways (Mathieu Roy is one of the few Oiler prospects in recent history who has been pissed at getting sent out in the past few falls. I like that about him).
Roy has issues with skating and therefore coverage and he’s never going to be a puck moving defender. He also has some injury issues (concussion, others) but he certainly appears capable of filling a 6-7D role on an NHL team.
Roy has an NHL deal for this season and next, so will either be on the roster or will be paid full money in the AHL. The Oilers recently placed him on waivers and he passed through which I found somewhat surprising based on his age and relative ability. The Oilers lost Alex Henry just this way several years ago and I think Roy is a similar player in terms of ability and assumed roster slot.
Part of the reason he was passed over might be his recent injury record:
- Nov 26, 2007: Missed 9 games (separated shoulder).
- Nov 5, 2007: Separated shoulder, day-to-day.
- Oct 23, 2007: Missed 8 games (aches and pains).
- Oct 2, 2007: Aches and pains, day-to-day.
If he were a baseball player, his nickname would be “Aches and Pains.” He has played in 21 NHL games and unlike many players on this list Roy’s expected NHL career GP is probably predictable. His outer marker is likely Pierre Bouchard (he played 595 games in an end-of-the-roster role on a team that sported 3 HOFers among their top 5D) for an NHL career and the other end of the scale would be that his NHL career is over at 21 games.
The fact is that Mathieu Roy has already covered the bet and should he stay healthy I’d expect that he’ll get at least one more chance with the Oilers with another down the line with one of the other NHL teams. Solid role players who can dish out hits have value.