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William Dufour gets call up to Islanders team in need of spark

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William Dufour Islanders
William Dufour

EAST MEADOW — William Dufour’s dad was already going to be at Wednesday night’s Islanders game against the Boston Bruins. Now he could potentially see his son’s NHL debut in person. 

Talk about good timing.

The Islanders called up Dufour, one of their top prospects, to at least participate during Wednesday’s morning skate where — though it took an extra few minutes to relay the good news to him on Tuesday. 

“I woke up to two calls from [Bridgeport GM Chris Lamoriello] and he just told me to be ready,” Dufour said. “He called me back to whether or not I need to be on Long Island yesterday, and he told me that I’m going to do th morning skate and then I’ll find out later if I play [tonight].”

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It has not been officially confirmed whether or not he will take the ice on Wednesday night at UBS Arena, so the rest of Dufour’s family is currently in a holding pattern awaiting for word on whether to high-tail it down to Long Island.

Dufour, a 20-year-old Quebec native, catapulted up the organization’s prospect rankings after authoring a monstrous campaign last year with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, posting 56 goals and 60 assists (116 points) in just 66. He won QMJHL MVP honors in 2021-22, the Memorial Cup, and the championship round’s MVP award. He also won gold at the World Junior Championships with Team Canada.

In 37 games with the Islanders minor league affiliate in Bridgeport this season — his first in the AHL — Dufour has accrued 13 goals and 12 assists. 

“I played good so I expected a call every day,” Dufour said. “You want that in your life. I’m happy to be here now… It’s a dream come true.”

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert slotted Dufour on the top line where he flanked star center Mathew Barzal on the right wing — a potential preview of what’s to come should he get in the lineup.

“He’s one of the best players in the NHL so it’s amazing just to practice with him,” Dufour said of Barzal. “If I have the chance to play with him I’m going to give my 100% to just stay there.”

With the Islanders mired in a slump having lost five of their last six games while scoring just 10 goals during that stretch, Dufour was the logical in-house option to potentially provide a jolt to a slumping offense. 

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Lambert said. “We feel like there’s an opportunity for certain guys and we’re looking to get some different areas going. So that’s the philosophy right now.”

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For more on William Dufour and the Islanders, visit AMNY.com

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