In the fifth round of the 2020 draft, the New York Islanders selected William Dufour. A big-bodied forward that was selected 6th overall in the QMJHL draft but hadn't really stood out much yet in the Quebec league.
He did have a solid second half of the 2019-20 season after being traded to the Drummondville Voltigeur with 33 points in 28 games. But prior to that, he had 43 points in 86 games. A half-point player. It wasn't a risk to take him per se. Late-round picks are where teams takes chances.
New York Islanders prospect named MVP finalist for their junior league
But since being drafted, Dufour has really stood out. In the 89 games since being drafted he's put up 73 goals and 145 points. That' 1.63 points per game since he was drafted.
This past season, Dufour put up 56 goals and 116 points in 66 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs. He finished second in the league for points and first in the league for goals. He was a top player not only for Saint John but in the entire league. On Wednesday, the QMJHL announced he was a finalist for the Michel-Brière award, the MVP of the league.
The year isn't yet over for Dufour. The Sea Dogs are hosting the CHL's Memorial Cup, where the best junior teams in Canada duke it out for top honors. The last Islanders prospect to win it was Noah Dobson, who did it twice.
Signed to his ELC with the New York Islanders prior to the end of the 2022 QMJHL season, there are hopes Dufour tapped into something that wasn't necessarily there when he was drafted in the fifth round. That the Islanders scouts locked into something the other teams didn't see. We'll see if he's more than just a good junior player next season when he makes his debut in the AHL.