The New York Islanders have agreed to terms with prospect William Dufour on a three-year, entry-level contract that will start in the 2022-23 season. The contract is worth $842.5K in 2022-23, and $867.5K in 2023-24 and 2024-25, says Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. Dufour currently plays for the Saint John Seadogs of the QMJHL, the host of the 2022 Memorial Cup.
You couldn’t really ask for a better final junior season than Dufour has experienced this year. After being traded from the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the offseason, the 20-year-old forward has absolutely exploded offensively, racking up 52 goals and 109 points in 61 games with the Sea Dogs. He leads all players in both categories and has a chance to expand on those totals with a handful of games remaining on the schedule.
After that, he’ll try to chase down a QMJHL title and then Memorial Cup, before making the jump to professional hockey next season. Selected in the fifth round, this isn’t some undersized talent that will struggle with the physicality of the next level. Dufour stands 6’3″ and uses his size and power effectively to dominate junior competition. While his skating will have to continue to improve if he’s to make the same impact in the AHL and then the NHL, he sits as arguably one of the Islanders’ top prospects.
In fact, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him second in his recent evaluation of the Islanders prospect pool, ahead of players with much higher draft pedigree like Simon Holmstrom or Ruslan Iskhakov. While there is still a long road ahead of him, Dufour’s signing today is a nice step toward fulfilling the promise he’s shown this season.