CALGARY – Around the same time last year Joshua Roy’s towing stock was dwindling. He was the Saint John Sea Dogs’ first overall pick in the 2019 QMJHL Draft, but he didn’t live up to the hype. He was playing in a province that was – and had been – under one of the country’s toughest COVID-19 lockdowns, unable to bring in his family. He was unhappy.

So he asked for an exchange.

On Jan. 25, 2021, the Sea Dogs granted his request, transferring him to the Sherbrooke Phoenix – closer to home in his native Quebec – for three first-round picks and one second-round pick.

But his status as one of the league’s top prospects never really recovered and his game was never fully back on track. When the 2021 NHL Draft took place, Roy, once a minor hockey sensation who led the midget AAA Chevaliers de Lévis to a winning streak, waited until his 150th selection to hear his name called by the Montreal Canadiens in the fifth round (which makes him, just two years after being the top prospect entering the QMJHL, the 16th player in his league selected in the NHL Draft).

A few weeks later, he was not invited to Hockey Canada’s summer showcase in Calgary, the first step in the selection process for the World Juniors team.

Now, however, Roy has reversed the script. And Sunday, the last day of Team Canada’s selection camp for the world junior championships in December, with Roy in the team’s final selections, that represented not the continuing setbacks from last year, but another in a series of steps forward this year.