With a number of NY Islanders players sidelined due to injury, General Manager Lou Lamoriello has been forced to dip his hand into Bridgeport for reinforcements. The latest call-ups have been Arnaud Durandeau, Otto Koivula, and Andy Andreoff, the latter of who was returned from his recall on Tuesday. Durandeau has turned everyone's attention to his speed and skill while keeping his game quite simple and becoming an effective player on the NHL roster. Down in Bridgeport, it seems William Dufour and Ruslan Iskhakov are doing all they can to earn their callups as each player continues to find the scoresheet which has helped the Bridgeport Islanders go on a four-game winning streak.
In Thursday night's matchup against the Belleville Senators, the Jr. Islanders were propelled to a 5-1 victory on the back of Dufour. The 6'2", 215-pound prospect opened the scoring in the first period entering the Belleville zone with clean control, shuffling his way around a Senators defender, and rifling a shot to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Later in the second period, Dufour collected the puck in the neutral zone, drove to the net, and with a silky set of mitts, faked out the Senators goaltender and deposited the puck on his backhand.
In his last six games, Dufour has accrued eight points (four goals and four assists), including a three-assist night against the Springfield Thunderbirds last Saturday. Dufour has now totaled 18 goals and 34 points in 49 games of his professional rookie season.
As for Iskhakov, he's been even hotter than Dufour. Iskhakov is riding a four-game point streak and has totaled three goals and five assists in that span. Iskhakov served as the AHL Islanders' representative at the AHL All-Star Classic and continues to prove why he was chosen. Iskhakov is up to 12 goals and 39 points in 47 games and like Dufour, he's also in his professional rookie season.
At this rate, if the Islanders need any more reinforcements, Dufour and Iskhakov could be the next two callups. Even if the Islanders begin to get healthier, Dufour and Iskhakov's continued success could earn them a call-up regardless, and with the NHL Trade deadline one week away, maybe, just maybe, Lamoriello would like to showcase his talent so other NHL clubs can see what the Islanders have.