Aatu Räty, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2021, 2nd Round)
After a brief cameo with the B-Isles last season, Aatu Räty seems to be making himself comfortable in North America. With time on the power play and top-six minutes, the former top prospect is showing glimpses of why he was once so highly touted.
Räty's numbers are not eye-popping at first glance. His point totals are just barely better than Holmström. However, Holmström has played four seasons in North America, and Räty has played less than 20 games. The physicality of the AHL and the smaller ice surface makes Räty's play look more impressive than his numbers perceive.
Last Tuesday, against the Charlotte Checkers, Räty registered his second power play goal of the season on a deflected shot just outside of the crease for his only point of the week. He has now found the back of the net twice this season, both times on the man advantage.
Räty is currently sitting at five points on the season (two goals, three assists). As the Oulu, Finland native gets more comfortable playing in Bridgeport, his game should continue trending upwards.
Many people have high hopes for the 19-year-old, and it remains necessary to stay consistent in his development.
William Dufour, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2020, 5th Round)
In his first season as a professional, William Dufour seems to be doing what he does best; scoring goals.
The lethal shot Dufour demonstrated in his Memorial Cup winning season last year with the St. John Sea Dogs, and debuted with the Islanders briefly in the pre-season, seems to be translating well to the AHL.
Last week, Dufour added one goal to his total, scoring on the power play against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Although the goal was an empty-net goal, the adage says, "they don't ask how - they ask how many."
Dufour's goal total sits at four on the season while adding one assist, coming on Räty's powerplay goal. He also scored the first shootout goal of his career, sealing the game for the B-Isles against Charlotte. With no fancy moves, Dufour released a quick snap-shot beating the goalie five-hole.
At his current pace, Dufour is trending to finish around the 30-goal mark. His laser shot and the willingness to throw his body around will keep him in a position to achieve the milestone.