When discussing New York Islanders prospect William Dufour this offseason, the numbers most brought up were 56 goals and 60 assists for a QMJHL record 116 points. But now, in training camp, there are other numbers that are generating attention from his teammates: 6' 2", 225 pounds.
There's plenty for the 20-year-old Dufour to learn before he is sent to Bridgeport to start his professional career, but one thing you can't teach is size - and the the 2022 QMJHL MVP has it.
NY Islanders William Dufour is leaving a 'big' impression in first training camp
“He was way bigger in person than I imagined,” center JG Pageau said last week. “He’s part of the big horses, that’s for sure. Seeing a young guy being that big, I think things can just improve. Size is something you cannot work on so he’s got that already.”
Something else that is big is Dufour's shot, which is described as both 'heavy' and accurate. “When we were talking about potentially acquiring him, you could see that raw power and just the speed and his shot is so heavy," said Saint John Sea Dogs assistant coach Stefan Legein. Dufour always had a large frame, but now its combined with physical maturity that allows him to use his natural size to put himself in position to use his powerful shot.
"I think I can play physical, I feel like I can shoot the puck. I can be responsible in my zone. So I think I can play many types of game. I think my main asset is my shot and my offense and my physicality. Wherever I play, I want to play my game, physical, put some pucks on the net, play behind their defensemen. Play with pace."- William Dufour in Newsday
Dufour will start his first professional regular season with the Bridgeport Islanders later this month. No matter how large the frame, no matter how hard a shot, it was always improbable if not impossible for him to make the team out of camp. Last month, GM Lou Lamoriello made that clear when he proclaimed that Dufour and fellow top prospect Aatu Räty were "not ready at this point."
Lamoriello is a firm believer that it is better to call up a player "too late" rather than "too soon." When the time does come for Dufour, the rising prospect with the big frame, big presence and big shot will aim to make a big impact at the NHL level.