It's hard to be surprised by it now, William Dufour scored. It seems every time we write about the New York Islanders fifth-round pick from 2020, he's scored another goal. Again, it's hardly a surprise at this point. So why write about it now? Right?
Well, he didn't just score a goal. And he didn't just score in some random regular-season game. He scored four goals in a single game that decided who would get a bye to the Memorial Cup Final.
New York Islanders William Dufour scores: See all 4 goals from epic game
In a showdown between the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Islanders prospects went wild by scoring a natural hat-trick and then adding a fourth to make the game 5-3 in the Sea Dogs favor.
There's one thing you'll take away from all four of Dufour's goals here, and it's that the kid can absolutely rip the puck. There's no question that his shot is NHL level. Some of his other attributes might not be just yet but they could get there with proper development.
But, to the goals!
The first one can be defined as: no hesitation. Dufour just seems to know where to be on the ice. He finds some pretty soft ice and the second the puck is in his wheelhouse it's gone. It's powerful, it's low, and it's just out of the goalie's reach.
Goal two was 21 seconds later. A snipe that's just above the pad but just below the trapper and way too fast for the goalie to close the gap. Again, that's NHL-level power and precision on that shot and he doesn't seem to need much time or space to snap it.
And then it was three. Six minutes after his second goal Dufour ties the game with this power move. He gets the front of the net, but the backhand doesn't go. No worries, he collects the rebound and stuffs it. Absolute power-forward type move. It's the type of play you want to see a 6'3" 200+ lbs kid make. Going hard to the net isn't something that can be tough. You either do it or don't.
The fourth is pure power. On this night, his shot just could not be stopped. He finds space through the slot, walks in, and fires. This time the goalie gets a read on the shot and even seems to get a piece of it, but neither is enough to stop the shot.
Just an epic display by Dufour to push his team to the Memorial Cup Final. And look, I've ranted and raved about the kid all season so maybe I'm a bit biased when it comes to Dufour, but I wasn't the only one to be floored by his performance. The Athletic's Scott Wheeler said it was the best single-game performance he's seen live.
There's still a hill to climb before we can se he's an NHL'er. Can the development team turn that something into an NHL will become evident in the next few years. But what is abundantly clear is that the New York Islanders scouting staff hit on something in the fifth round.