We're less than two months away from the NY Islanders beginning pre-season play, and the anticipation is starting to build. While there's hype for the Isles to begin their quest to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there's a bit of a buzz around the Bridgeport Islanders that's been missing for quite some time.
The B-Islanders will have the organization's top-two prospects playing together this season in William Dufour and Matthew Maggio. These aren't your average top prospects, as both were drafted in the fifth round as overage players. In their final seasons of junior hockey, the two managed to capture the MVP trophy in their respective leagues and look to join forces in Bridgeport.
Dufour debuted in Bridgeport last season, having what can be considered a successful rookie campaign. He made it clear that his domination at the junior level wasn't due to just being an older, stronger player, but that he has what it takes to compete at the next level. His 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) were good enough for sixth-best among all rookies as he looks to improve during his sophomore season.
Maggio spent last season tearing up the OHL, finishing as the league's leading point producer and goal scorer. He debuted with Bridgpeort at the end of last season, contributing two assists in his three games, but could take some time to become accustomed to the higher pace of play and physicality of the pro game. Where he was one of the league's oldest players last year - he'll now be the young gun going up against fully grown men every night.