“Hockey is a big part of our family,” said Derick, “but education is a lot more important.”
After a couple of years at Deerfield, Kevin signed on with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, the Midwest-based Tier 1 junior circuit, and set the league on fire last season, establishing records for goals and points that prompted the Hall of Fame in Toronto to request his gloves.
“I’d seen the YouTube video before I met him,” said Colton Saucerman, his NU classmate and Stars teammate. “We went to camp during the summer and he was on the team. Someone said, ‘That’s the 13-year-old Canadian hockey player.’ I said, ‘No way, it’s not.’
“Fifty-four goals and 104 points later, it was the same 13-year-old Canadian.”
The Anaheim Ducks plucked him in the fourth round of last year’s draft, the 97th player overall, and Roy could have taken the shorter route to the NHL by signing with the Quebec Remparts.
“There’s a tremendous amount of pressure because the Quebec major junior league does not like to lose its players to college hockey and there’s a lot of incentives that they can provide both to the player and the family,” said Madigan, who grew up in Montreal.
College offered lifetime benefits, though, so the brothers committed to Brown.
“Kevin said if we ever have the opportunity to play Division 1 hockey, we have to be together,” Derick said.
On second thought, Northeastern seemed to offer a better fit — “a perfect balance between hockey and education,” Kevin reckoned.
So they signed on as teammates and roommates in the Hub, and Kevin made his usual sudden impact, scoring the winning goals in the first two games against Merrimack and BC. Later, he set up Cody Ferriero’s four goals at Harvard and scored one himself.
In his two dozen games as a Husky, Roy has played with seven line combinations with equanimity.
“He has the mind-set that as long as people play the game and think the game like him, then he’s going to play with anyone,” said Madigan. “And he’ll make that line better.”
His linemates don’t have to guess where Roy will be — his instincts draw him to the net — and they know he’ll likely pull a YouTube move to flick on the red light.
“It’s a thing you don’t think will translate to game play,” mused Saponari, “but you see him play and he can still pull some of that creative stuff.”
The trick against the Terriers was vintage Roy. He scored the first goal by walking in and slipping the puck through a thicket of legs. The second came after BU’s Ben Rosen unwisely passed in front of an empty net and a splay-legged Roy knocked the puck in. The third was a quick-draw swat of an errant clear by BU’s Garrett Noonan.
“That’s typical Kevin,” said Saponari. “We see that every day in practice.”
The question is whether his teammates will see it for three more years. In a day where two-and-through is the plan for the top pro hockey prospects, sticking around to get a diploma seems so 20th century.
“I don’t know about the future,” mused Roy. “I just want to focus on now, win something here and have success here. However many years it will be, I just want to have the best time and the best opportunity while I’m here and cherish every moment.
“Because it’s a great town, great school, great people around here, so I just want to have fun until the next level comes.”
John Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.