Sunday Q&A with Marco Roy
by Don LaibleDec 4, 2016
So, have you heard the one about the kid who grew up in Montreal, was drafted by Edmonton, and now skates for Vancouver's top minor league affiliate in Utica?
Now you have. Meet Marc-Olivier Roy.
Canada, hockey, and dreaming of an NHL call sums up the young centerman's immediate goals.
Q: You just celebrated a birthday (Nov. 5) and turned 22-years-old. Did you do anything special?
A: We (Comets) were playing in Syracuse. Before the game, I had dinner with John Negrin and Tom Nilsson; we were scratches for the game. After, I went out with all the guys to Varick Street.
Q: How did you keep busy?
A: Played darts and pool.
Q: Are you feeling at home in Utica yet?
A: For sure. I'm learning where everything is. For one week, I lived with John (Negrin) in New York Mills. I know where the mall is, and the movies. Sometimes I go to Grenier's home,and hang out with him. We play some Xbox, have dinner, and regroup.
Q: Any favorite places to eat?
A: Utica has great restaurants. Aqua Vino, and Delmonico's are two of the best. I've been to all of them.
Q: How often is your last name mispronounced - Roy versus WAH?
A: Most people don't know how to say my name properly, so I just go with it.
Q: When did people begin calling you Marco?
A: My real name is Marc-Olivier Roy. Many people don't know how to say this, as well. So, they shortened it to Marco, from Marc-Olivier.
Q: How cool and or convenient was it for you to be drafted by your hometown juniors team - Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)?
A: This made it easier for my parents and friends to see me play. I lived at home, ate well for three years.
Q: For your last year in juniors, you skated for the Quebec Remparts. How was it being away from home for the first time?
A: I was placed with a wonderful billet family. That was different, but not better.
Q: Living in the Montreal region, did you grow up a Canadiens fan?
A: Oh, I was a big Habs fan.
Q: Who were some of your favorites?
A: Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov.
Q: What did it mean to you being drafted by a Canadian team (Edmonton Oilers)?
A: I'm a proud Canadian. It was cool to be drafted by a Canadian team.
Q: Speaking of proud Canadians, one of your coaches for a couple seasons with Blainville-Boisbriand was Stephan Matteau (member of the NY Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup winning team). Did he show you his championship ring?
A: The Stanley Cup ring is pretty cool. Yes, he showed it to us, more so as motivation for our dreams. He scored a big goal in the playoffs for the Rangers. As a coach, he was real good in keeping me believe that a kid from Quebec could make it to the NHL. That ring made me want to get better as a player.
Q: Edmonton drafts you, but you don't sign with them - why?
A: They (Oilers) liked my play in the Memorial Cup tournament, but then I was injured (elbow) in an exhibition game. So, I ended up signing an AHL contract last year, and played for their team in Bakersfield (CA) - the Condors. I had a good year, and grew up.
Q: What was your day at the NHL draft (2013 in New Jersey) like?
A: That was the best day of my life.
Q: How so.
A: That (being drafted by Edmonton in the second round) was a proud moment for my family. My brother, my agent, everyone was proud for me. After, I kept working hard in the summer and in the "Q".
Q: Do you have a favorite sports movie?
A: Slap Shot and Miracle. Miracle is the best hockey movie.
Q: What do you watch on the bus rides?
A: Mostly Netflix. The series I like is Prison Break and Suits.
Q: Last season you played in Norfolk(VA) and Bakersfield. Had you been to the ocean before?
A: In my previous travelings, I was never close (to the oceans). When I got to California, I was living the dream. The beach, the weather, wearing flip-flops, it was always good.
Q: When you were in Bakersfield, was there a California thing you did?
Q: Are you any good at it?
A: No, I'm not that good (laughs). In Bakersfield and Stockton, hockey isn't as big as it is here.
Q: Before you joined the Canucks' organization, when you looked around and saw all the top draft picks the Oilers had, how did you assess your future there?
A: I learned a lot from all the first-round picks. I wanted to be like them. McDavid came to us in Bakersfield last season, when he was coming back from an injury. It was great being around him.
Q: I've read and have been told that your main strength is skating. True?
A: When I was with Bakersfield, the Oilers had a special skating coach. I learned a lot then, and over the summers.
Q: When you were invited to the Canucks' Young Stars tournament this past September, how much pressure did you put on yourself to impress?
A: For sure, there was pressure. That was a big tournament for me. I left the Oilers for Vancouver, for a chance to play. I had to prove that I have a complete game. It was important for me to play against the Oilers, and show them how I have grown as a player.
Q: You have three movie passes, who are you taking with you?
A: I'd have to go with Jonathan Towes, and Ariana Grande.