By now you’ve seen, heard or maybe have even fallen victim to the 5-10 force of nature that is Lincoln Stars’ forward Kevin Roy (Brown).
Roy, 18, is having one of the greatest seasons in the USHL’s 30-plus year history. As a rookie he has scored 104 points (54 goals, 50 assists) picking away at the myth the USHL is a defense-first league where forwards have a hard time adapting.
The Lac Beauport, Que., native comes to town tonight for the final regular season game on the Force’s calendar. Roy and Lincoln are assured a first-round bye while the Force have to prepare for a quick turnaround for their first-round playoff series against Sioux City on Monday.
With this possibly being Roy’s appearance in Fargo, unless this is a potential second or third-round match-up, here’s a statistical look at how dominating his season has been:
GOING FOR GOAL:
-Roy’s 54 goals are the first time a player has scored 50 or more goals in the USHL since the 1993-94 season. Yet when you look inside those 54 goals, here’s what you’ll find. Roy had a “slow start” to the season going pointless in his first three games. After that, he managed to score at least one goal in all but five games this season. Roy’s had 13 multi-goal games and of those games, three of them have seen him score hat tricks.
-Stars coach Chad Johnson said at the USHL Christmas Break that if Roy wanted to show scouts he’s worth a draft pick, he would need to continue playing well in the second half. He’s done just that. Since the season resumed Dec. 28, he has scored 34 goals. If you took Roy’s second-half goals he’d be the league’s third-leading goal scorer.
-Scoring 54 goals also means he takes a lot of shots. Roy leads the USHL with 305 shots on goal. That’s 71 more shots than last year’s league leader in shots and it’s at least the most shots taken by one player since the 2007-08 season. He even had 10 shots in one game where he scored 2 points in a win over Sioux City on Mar. 16. Yes, that means Roy has taken more shots in one season than players such as Jaden Schwartz and Louis Leblanc. Force forwards Jonny Brodzinski (St. Cloud State) and Gabe Guertler (Minnesota), who lead the team in shots, have a combined 314 shots – nine fewer than Roy by himself.
A HELPING HAND:
-Roy’s goal-scoring exploits have been talked about in great detail. But people might forget he also leads the league in assists too. He has 42 helpers since the Christmas Break and if just used that total by itself, he’d be fifth in the league in that category too.
-The feeling is if you can contain Roy from scoring then you have a good chance against Lincoln. Actually, the numbers say otherwise. In games where Roy just gets assists, and only assists, the Stars are 6-3-2. So even if he doesn’t score, he can hurt you in other ways.
-Something which does make Roy not so superb – at least compared to others the last few years – is he becomes the sixth player since the 2007-08 season to have 50 or more assists. Former Indiana Ice forward John Kemp has the most with 59 assists which he picked up in the 07-08 season.
POINTING OUT THE OBVIOUS
-What could be lost in this season for the Stars is the growth of first-year forward Luke Johnson (North Dakota) and the emergence of forward Jared Hanson. Johnson has scored 54 points and Hansen has 53. Together their 107 points is three more than Roy has by himself. Or you could say Roy has as many goals as Johnson as points. Or Roy has four fewer assists than Johnson has points.
-Giving up a one point against Roy might be considered a reason for some teams to load up some cars and go to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate. But there have been teams who have managed to limit Roy. Take Sioux Falls for example. The last place team in the West can claim that they’re the only team to keep Roy pointless in multiple games this season whereas Tri-City and Fargo haven’t been so lucky. Roy had two five-point games this season with both coming against Tri-City and Fargo. In fact, he had a four-point night on Friday against the Force, which based on goals allowed and the penalty kill ranks in the Top 3 in defense in the USHL.
-The last time Roy didn’t get a point was Feb. 25 against Tri-City. Since then, he’s gone on a reign of terror that General Zod would even be pleased with scoring 31 points in his last 15 games. Lincoln has gone 11-4 in that stretch. He’s also a plus-14 during this stretch and for the season is a plus-44.
-Finally, Roy has 34 games where he has scored two or more points this season. Of those 34 games, here’s the breakdown: He’s had 23 games with two points, five games with three points, four games with four points and two games with five points.
What we’ve seen this year from Roy has simply been offensive mastery and dominance at its best.
No player in this league has been able to dominate a game and possibly even a season like Roy has managed to accomplish. When have we seen a season where a player could legitimately walk away as the USHL’s Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season?
Furthermore, there’s still a chance he could add to what might be a growing trophy wall as Lincoln is one of four teams in the Western Conference with a realistic chance of reaching the Clark Cup Finals.
Roy came into the league this season known as a player who could lay claim to having more than a million hits on a YouTube video where he performed some strong moves. But he could walk away with one of the greatest individual campaigns this league has seen all while improving his stock for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
Green Bay might be having a record year setting all sorts of marks when it comes to win totals. Yet when you look at it all, there’s no denying Kevin Roy might have been the biggest story and maybe even the USHL’s biggest attraction.