Welcome back to Vegas Hockey Now’s season in review series where we look at every player on the Vegas Golden Knights and their 2021-22 season from Michael Amadio to Zach Whitecloud.
You can catch up on the series here: Michael Amadio, Reilly Smith, Jonas Rondbjerg, Keegan Kolesar, Robin Lehner, Alex Pietrangelo, Nolan Patrick, Shea Theodore, Jake Leschyshyn, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Laurent Brossoit, Mattias Janmark, William Carrier, and Jack Eichel.
Today’s Player is Nicolas Roy.
Nicolas Roy took the next step in his development with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021-22. He set career highs in goals, assists, and points. The 25-year-old center has taken a traditional path to the NHL. He served his time in juniors, the AHL, and has played international hockey too. His time as a bonafide NHL player is now as he gives the Golden Knights some solid bottom-six scoring depth.
As a restricted free agent, the current conversation surrounding Roy will be his next contract. We’ll get to that later, but first, let’s go over what he accomplished in 2021-22. Roy scored 15 goals, good for sixth on the team this past season. With Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, and Max Pacioretty all frequently out of the lineup, Roy had to step up and even played wing at points in the season.
Inconsistent scoring was one of his issues as he seemed to just score in bunches. He went through a goalless drought of 10 games early in the season and then a 15-game goalless drought during the stretch run. As a bottom-six guy, this can be forgiven, but with Roy’s elevated status in 21-22, it was even more evident when he was not scoring.
Most of Roy’s goals were scored in bursts, both in the overall season and on the ice. Roy used his speed to get behind defenders and his soft hands to score slick goals.
Hockey world, meet Nicolas Roy's hands 🤩 pic.twitter.com/XrjjVhfaCe
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 22, 2021
As bad as the Golden Knights were in the shootout in 2021-22, Roy capped off a four-game East Coast winning streak with a shootout winner against the New York Islanders.
— NHL (@NHL) December 19, 2021
Roy would frequently go through scoring droughts but come out of them in a dramatic fashion. After his longest goal drought on the season, he scored two goals against the Anaheim Ducks for a win. He also scored this nifty game-winning_ goal against the Florida Panthers.
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
One last mention thing, Roy was one of three Golden Knights who represented Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Championships. He fittingly joined two other prominent young players on the Golden Knights Logan Thompson and Zach Whitecloud and won Silver at the tournament.
The Golden Knights have a good player here, who is coming into his own as a solid depth center in the NHL. He can perform in the playoffs, kill penalties, score big goals, and win faceoffs. Roy is truly a swiss-army knife for the VGK.
But he needs a new contract.
A bridge deal is likely the route that general manager Kelly McCrimmon wants to take with Roy as he is coming off of his entry-level contract at 25 years of age. Roy was 14th in the league last season at cost per point as his $750,000 contract was a bargain price for the VGK.
The Golden Knights have about $5.2 million available in cap space thanks to Thursday’s Evgenii Dadonov trade. Roy won’t take up too much of that, but he still needs to get paid. More cap gymnastics are sure to follow McCrimmon and the Golden Knights this summer.
Reilly Smith and Mattias Janmark are unrestricted free agents and Roy, Nicolas Hague, Keegan Kolesar, Jonas Rondbjerg, Jake Leschyshyn, and Brett Howden are all notable restricted free agents for the VGK.