BET À DAY
SAINT-JEAN, N.-B. | A season of 56 goals, a high in the entire Canadian Hockey League (CHL ), an invitation to the Team Canada junior camp and, as a bonus, the title of most valuable player in the QMJHL: the New York Islanders could hardly ask for better from their fifth-round pick in 2020, William Dufour.
With 116 points, Dufour finished second in QMJHL scoring behind Joshua Roy (119 points).
“It would be difficult to be happier with his progress, mentioned atDiary Quebec Islanders scout Mario Saraceno, present in Saint-Jean for the Memorial Cup tournament. All the credit goes to him.
This progress has also prompted the Islanders to grant him a first professional contract, last April.
“When I think back to my season, I get chills,” said the 6 3 in, 204 lb guy. I lived through several big events, including the World Juniors camp, and I also managed to score more than 50 goals. If we can end this with the Memorial Cup championship, it would just be a dream season.”
The Hatching Dufour's offense can be explained not only by the fact that he is in his fourth season in the QMJHL, but also by the role entrusted to him by head coach Gordie Dwyer.
“Last year in Drummondville, [Xavier] Simoneau and I played in all situations, both shorthanded and late in the game to keep a lead. This year, I haven't really had any shorthanded playing time. My role was really offensive and on the power play.”
However, after the Sea Dogs' surprise elimination in the first round of the playoffs against the Rimouski Océanic, Dwyer was fired and Gardiner MacDougall showed up. Since then, the latter has entrusted more defensive missions to the big right winger from Quebec City.
“He can play everywhere, both in the center and on the wing. When you have the fastest racehorses, you want to use them. William is one. […] He is an enthusiastic and hungry young man. It's impressive to see the season he's had. He was traded to a new team and he seems to have taken advantage of it. It's a privilege for me to lead it and I hope I do so for as long as possible,” MacDougall said.
If he continues his progress, Dufour could make Saraceno look good in a few years.
“He could make us look good, he says when the remark is made to him. Our development team works very hard with all our young people, including William. What we like is that he still has room to strengthen himself. In addition, I found that he had improved his skating considerably this year.
In the case of Dufour, he hopes to be one of those players who can be characterized as a “theft”. compared to his selection rank, in the fifth round.
“When I was drafted, the first thing my agent said to me: 'it's only a rank, it's is a rank”. At the end of the day, I believe in my chances of succeeding in professional hockey. Now everything is in my hands, so why not? »
The future will pass through Jordan Tourigny
The Shawinigan Cataractes are at the end of a cycle and, next year, the Mavrik Bourque, Xavier Bourgault and Pierrick Dubé will no longer be there. They won't be completely empty-handed, however, and will rely on a few pieces around which to start the next cycle, starting with defenseman Jordan Tourigny.
The team's first-round pick in the last draft of the QMJHL, Tourigny not only carved out a place as a regular with the Cataractes, but played a more than important role.
In the team's first game at the Memorial Cup on Tuesday, he was at the forefront of the first wave of the power play. It was in this situation that he scored his team's first goal against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“I have been lucky enough to work with him for a while. He is first and foremost a very positive individual. He always has a big smile and he wants to work. It is a sponge and its retention capacity is enormous. We worked a lot in October and November and now we are elsewhere. You can see his confidence. His game has been going very well for several months and there, everyone has the chance to see him on TV. What's fun with Jordan is that you don't know yet where his ceiling is,” said Cataractes assistant coach Philippe Roy, in charge of defenseman development.
BIG BROTHER'S ADVICE
Jordan is the brother of defender Miguël, who completed his junior career with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and who will now be trying to land a professional contract in the coming months.
“ We speaks very often, almost every evening. He looks at my games and he calls me and tells me what I did right and wrong. He is often proud of me and he is there to encourage and help me. We have a very
good relationship. »
As a defender who is naturally offensive, it is more on the defensive aspect of his game that he has to work.
“My defensive game will never be perfect. I have to keep perfecting the little details by continuing to practice and listening to the coaches. Nothing will ever be perfect, but I try to improve myself in order to become a flawless player. practice on Wednesday for their next game on Thursday night against the Ontario champions, the Hamilton Bulldogs.