Last season, the NY Islanders had a prospect whose team hosted the memorial cup in William Dufour with the Saint John Sea Dogs. This season, the Islanders have another prospect in the same situation as the Kamloops Blazers and Isles prospect Dalyan Kuefler is hosting the 2023 Memorial Cup as the tournament's third seed. Prior to the tournament, the Islanders inked Kuefler to his first professional contract when he signed a three-year entry-level contract earlier this month.
To open the tournament, the Blazers didn't come out of the gate too hot. They were dominated by the first-seeded Quebec Remparts and James Malatesta, a 2021 fifth-round draft pick that scored a hat-trick in the 8-3 Ramparts victory. On the other side of the ice, however, Kuefler, although in a losing effort, made his presence known by recording a goal and an assist on four shots.
The Blazers' second game was much kinder to them. On Sunday the Blazers faced off against the fourth-seeded Peterborough Petes. The Blazers ran the score up on the Petes, scoring a whopping 10 goals with Dallas Stars prospect Logan Stankovan leading the charge registering five points on a goal and four assists. Kuefler didn't register any points, although he finished the game on the positive side of the +/- category, registered four shots, and got physical when necessary which led to nine penalty minutes. When the Petes were down 3-0 with just under 10 seconds to go in the first period, Cam Gauvreau, an undrafted 20-year-old prospect who is looking to keep his career alive following this season, dropped the gloves with Kuefler in order to try and swing some sort of momentum in the Petes direction with 40 minutes left to play in the game. Although it's fair to say Gauvrea looked to have gotten the best of Kuefler, the Petes couldn't stave off the Blazers' onslaught.
Kuefler and the Blazers suit up again on Wednesday to take on the second seeded Seattle Thunderbirds. Puck drop is at 3 PM EST.