The word on the street last week when the Chilliwack Chiefs signed ex-Western Hockey Leaguer Jordan Roy was that he was big, skilled and mean.
“Which is good,” someone noted. “They need that.”
Roy was as advertised playing his first two home games at Prospera Centre last weekend.
The six-foot-three forward finished checks with authority, sometimes a beat or two late.
He took a roughing penalty in a 5-1 loss to Powell River Friday and took two penalties against Coquitlam, one for unsportsmanlike conduct and the other for charging. Roy showed the wheels to get in on the forecheck, the strength to wreck defenders and the stick skills to create offence.
And he picked up his first BCHL point in Saturday’s 7-1 whumping of the Express, setting up Tommy Lee’s third period snipe.
All in all, the 19 year old Cranbrook native made an excellent first impression.
“Some nights I’m a little more (mean) than others, and it just depends how angry I get,” Roy said. “I’m at my best when I’m getting into the play, getting involved physically and trying to get into other guys’ heads.”
Two of Roy’s first three games have been against the Express and he already feels there’s one BCHL team that loathes him.
“I think so,” he laughed.
Playing nasty is something that Roy has added to his game the last two or three years as he’s tried to stick in major junior hockey.
Roy spent 34 games with the Tri-City Americans in 2015-16 and 64 more with the Red Deer Rebels between last year and this.
Roy credits Tri-City vets Maxwell James and Mackenzie Stewart (a Vancouver Canucks draft pick) for helping transform his game.
“They definitely pushed me and taught me a lot of good things about how to play on that edge,” Roy said. “If you’re getting in guys’ heads you’re doing a good job, and I know I’m doing that when they don’t want to touch the puck anymore.
“You beat guys to the puck and nobody wants to go into your corner.”
The center/winger had seven goals and 14 points in 98 WHL matches.
The free-wheeling style of the BCHL appeals to him after experiencing the often robotic ways of the Dub.
“It’s a lot more systematic there, with a lot more big bodies where you have to force stuff to the net,” Roy explained. “There are a lot more little skilled guys in the BCHL and it’s more about finding open ice and getting pucks moving.
“The physical aspect is different, but skill and speed wise it is still top-of-the-line hockey and it’s nice to play.”
Chiefs fans will get a look at another newcomer this weekend when Chilliwack plays back to back home games against Salmon Arm (Friday) and Langley (Saturday).
Michael Clarke, who played just three games for the Chiefs after being acquired from the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm, is going back to Alberta.
Clarke heads to the Calgary Canucks, with 20 year forward Adam Berg coming the other way.
Berg is another ex-WHLer who played for the Regina Pats and Edmonton Oil Kings.
The six-foot-one and 200 pound winger collected 16 goal, 46 points and 66 penalty minutes in 133 games.