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By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Sherbrooke Phoenix made one of the most significant trade deadline acquisitions in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this season, sending three first-round draft picks to the Saint John Sea Dogs for highly-touted centre Joshua Roy.

Roy, a 17-year-old former QMJHL first overall pick, played 15 games for the Sea Dogs before the league went into a mandatory break due to COVID-19. He posted 17 points with Saint John, nine goals and eight assists, prior to the deal with Sherbrooke.

But the Quebec native was ready to move on from the team that drafted him in 2019. During a phone interview with The Record, he chose not to discuss his situation in Saint John. Although, he added that all will be revealed in due time.

“I can’t say the reason why, not yet, but yeah, I asked for the trade,” said Roy.

He is pleased with where he landed in Quebec, though. The team is promising, Roy added, and they have a young core of players. He called the situation a perfect fit, seeing as he is also still relatively new to the league.

“I was very happy, you know, I joined a young team,” said Roy. “I think we want to win the cup in maybe two years, or even next year; we’re going to be a very good team.”

The trade also brings him closer to home. Roy is from St-Georges-de-Beauce, which is roughly two hours away from Sherbrooke. He is closer to his family, friends and girlfriend now. Roy told The Record that he expects to see them at the arena more often next season.

When asked about the pressure he faces being a first overall pick, Roy said he tries not to put a lot of weight on his shoulders. He knows what Phoenix head coach Stephane Julien paid to get him on the team. And he understands his role is to drive the offense and lead the team.

“I don’t put pressure with that, I just try to think about the things that I can control and just try to do my best doing the extra work, all the little things and just play my game and concentrate on what I can do,” he said.

Roy is also eligible for the 2021 National Hockey League (NHL) entry draft. But he reiterated that he doesn’t like to focus on anything out of his control. He can build his draft stock, but he is more concerned with his team’s success on the ice.

The Phoenix are off to a slow start to the season. They have one win — a 2-0 shutout over Baie-Comeau two weeks ago. But Roy believes the team can turn things around if they focus on the small details. They’re back on the ice Feb. 2 against Rouyn-Noranda.

“If we work and if we do the little things for sure we can compete against every team in the league,” said Roy. “We just have to work a lot, we’re young, so we need to work more.”

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