Those who were glad to see Derek Roy shipped out of Buffalo needn’t worry about the name that’s been floating around ice at Sabres prospect camp this week.
Frederick Roy has no relation to the former Sabres center. His NHL bloodlines are even better.
Frederick is the son of Patrick Roy, the Hall-of-Famer who was the winningest goalie in NHL history when he retired in 2003 (551 wins), only to be passed by Martin Brodeur, who has 656 and counting.
“[The name] has followed me my whole life,” Frederick said after practice Tuesday at the First Niagara Center. “I’m proud of what my father did and accomplished in his career. For me, he’s a role model.
“He taught me there’s one way to play to game: the hard way. It’s 100 percent every time I step on that ice. I give my heart and soul to the team I’m playing with.”
Last season, that team was the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), coached by none other than Patrick Roy.
“We [manage that relationship] that really well.” Frederick said of playing for his dad. “We knew that when we got to the ice rink, it was business. I was just another player. At home, we’re really close and we’re really good friends and everything.”
Roy’s size -- he's listed for camp at 5-foot-10, 160 pounds -- may have been a contributing factor to why he wasn’t drafted, but his numbers are there. He scored 53 goals in the last two years with Quebec and put up 92 points in 64 games last season while on a line with Sabres’ first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko, who couldn’t say enough about Roy.
“I was playing with him all year long, I think he was one of the best linemates in my life,” Grigorenko said. “With him, he makes you better. He’ll always support you and he works hard and he wins all his battles and he’s a really smart player and he always passes the puck. For me, I really enjoyed to play with him.”
Roy also knows development camp member Marcus Foligno. Foligno’s father (and former Sabre) Mike was an assistant coach with Colorado in the late ‘90s while Patrick Roy was on the team. Foligno said he and Frederick enjoyed horsing around in the locker room together as 8- and 9-year-olds.
Frederick originally tried to be a goalie like dad, but said he “didn’t have the patience for it.”
Roy is eager to prove teams wrong for passing over him. He cites improvements to his speed and overall strength as areas to improve on but thinks he has a shot to earn a minor-league contract out of camp.
“I play both ways of the ice,” Roy said. “I can score, I can pass. I’m more of a playmaker. I can play D-zone, I like to finish my checks. ... I just have to show the scouts and the coaches and everyone else.”