The AHL season is underway and the NY Islanders affiliate, Bridgeport Islanders, could be one of the more fun and interesting teams to watch this season in North America's second professional tier. For the first time in a few seasons, the crop of prospects the Jr. Islanders (formerly Sound Tigers) are icing is an exciting bunch that consists of Aatu Räty, William, Dufour, and Simon Holmstrom to name a few.
The Jr. Islanders are 1-1-0 thus far, dropping their season opener to the Providence Bruins , then defeating the Springfield Thunderbirds, both games on the road. Ruslan Iskhakov is another exciting name playing for the Jr. Islanders who scored his first professioanl level goal in the Islanders 3-2 win over the Thunderbirds. In Friday nights contest during the Islanders second bout against the Bruins, Dufour joined Iskhakov in scoring firsts, sniping his first professional level goal to open the scoring.
Dufour received the puck on an excellent poke pass from Holmstrom along the boards in the Islanders own zone. The pass sprung Dufour and Räty to a 2on1 and Dufour, with speed, opted to shoot and he made it count. Dufour sniped the goal top shelf, glove side of nine year NHL veteran goaltender Keith Kinkaid.
It didn't take Dufour long to continue building off the momentum of his historic season between breaking records in the QMJHL, winning the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs, and winning Olympic Gold at the 2022 World Junior Championships as an important part of Team Canada's U20 squad.
Dufour impressed the Islanders brass at training camp this September and even made Isles GM Lou Lamoriello admit he may have been wrong about how close to NHL ready he and Räty are. The 6'3", 194 pound winger has even put himself in the conversation of "exciting prospects to watch this season" by the national media. One of the question marks around Dufour prior to this fall was if he was going to keep pace and acclimate to the speed of the professional level in North America. He proved that needn't be a worry moving forward at training camp and now further solidified that notion scoring his first AHL goal with the anticipation that there's plenty more to come.