Roy happy to be a Rebel

Former Tri-City American forward knows the role he has to play

Jordan Roy had an idea he wouldn’t be spending the 2016-17 Western Hockey League season with the Tri-City Americans.

“I had an idea I would be traded, but had no idea where … I’m glad Red Deer was interested in me,” he said prior to the Red Deer Rebels practice at the Centrium Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s worked out … I’m definitely fitting in with the team. I know the role I have to play and where I’m at as a player.”

Roy arrived in September from the Americans and fortunately had one friend — D-Jay Jerome — with the club.

“We played together in minor hockey in Lethbridge, so we seemed to click right away, plus the other guys treated me like family,” said Roy, who assisted on three of Jerome’s first four goals of the season.

“It was good to get an opportunity to set up a few goals and get the chemistry going,” he said.

At six-foot-two, 190-pounds, the 18-year-old winger is looked at as a power forward, something he’s more than willing to accept.

“That’s the role I see myself in. I have to keep my game simple, do the little things, and try to make a difference.”

Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter believes he fits in that role as well.

“He’s a big guy who wants to use his body. He’s not a fancy player. He plays in straight lines and is a guy who has to finish his checks and simplify his game. He has to focus in every game and every practice and build from there.”

One thing Roy does do as well as most is skate.

“I’ve always been a good skater in every league, and that’s one of my strengths,” he said. “I have to use that in this league.”

Roy grew up in Kimberley, B.C. and played bantam AA in Cranbrook. He moved to Lethbridge in 2012 and played two seasons of minor hockey there — one with the bantam AAA Golden Hawks, and one with the midget AAA Hurricanes. He played junior with the Kimberley Dynamiters in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in 2014-15 before joining the Americans, who drafted him in the fifth round (95th overall) in the 2013 WHL bantam draft.

He played 34 games with Tri-City last season, scoring twice and adding one assist. This season he has four assists in eight games.

But he’s still looking for his first goal with the Rebels.

“I’ve has some chances, but haven’t found it yet,” he said. “Points are obviously important, but as long as at the end of the game we win, and I do my best, that’s important.”

Sutter agrees.

“We just want to get him into a mind set to get better and build off that,” he said. “We want him to use his strengths to his best advantage. To get settled in his mind set which will simplify everything. We want him to continue to use bis body, work on straight lines and continue to go to the net harder. He’s a smart kid. He was complicating it a bit, but when we set it out for him on what we want from him he’s more mentally engaged and focused as a player. He’s dialed in and I think he’s handled it all well.”

Roy has been happy with the way the season has progressed.

“I still have to work on positioning and getting used to the team and what they want from me in terms of keeping it simple and not trying to do too much. But I’m certainly happy to be here.”

The Rebels are coming off one of their best games of the season — a 5-0 win over the Kelowna Rockets.

“That was a big win for us, it gave us a lot of confidence heading into this week,” said Roy.

The Rebels host the Moose Jaw Warriors Friday at 7 p.m. at the Centrium and visit the Kootenay Ice Saturday.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s bog at rdcathletics.ca

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