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Aatu Räty Speaks on William Dufour, Latest Goal & More

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New York Islanders, Aatu Räty

On Monday night, New York Islanders prospects go head-to-head as Aatu Räty and Team Finland face off against William Dufour and Team Canada at 6 PM ET.

Aatu Räty was drafted 52nd overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, while William Dufour was drafted 152nd overall in 2020. Both are likely to play for the Bridgeport Islanders this upcoming season unless they show enough at training camp to crack the New York Islanders roster.

In three games played at the IIHF World Junior Championships, Räty has three goals and five assists as a member of the top line for Finland. William Dufour, on the third line for Canada, has one goal and three assists in his three games.

In an interview by Tiia Honkamaa for 65 Jatkoaika on Sunday, Aatu Räty was asked about William Dufour, Team Canada, and his latest goal against the Slovaks.

This interview is being translated from Finnish to English

Back on August 10, Räty went to watch Canada vs. Latvia game along with teammate Brad Lambert, the nephew of New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert.

Canada came away victorious by a score of 5-2. Dufour notched a goal and an assist in that game, with six shots on goal.

“I have never seen him play live before,” Aatu Räty said. “I hope he comes to training camp this fall as well. He’s a good-looking player.”

The two prospects might not be on a line together in Bridgeport, but for the New York Islanders, there has not been too much hype around prospects in the recent past, and these two are exciting the fan base, even if they are a few years away from making an impact.

Both Räty and Lambert attended that game as fans.

“You have to use your brain so much in hockey that we went to watch the match with a slightly more relaxed eye,” Räty said. “We looked more at individual players from a fan perspective.”

“Of course, I remembered some small things from there, but it is not yet revealed here what we are going to do to beat Canada.”

Canada leads Group A with a 3-0-0-0 record (9 points) while Finland is right behind them with a 2-1-0-0 record (2 regulation wins, 1 overtime win), which is good for eight points.

Canada has outscored their opponents 21-4, with Finland outscoring their opponents 19-7.

“These are all such different games that certain situations are automatically played better when it’s Canada,” Räty said as he now gets set to face Canada. “The game picture will be smoother than today [against Slovakia].”

“That kind of solidity and clarity is still being sought in the game. There can’t be any such falling asleep that you have to be sharper tomorrow.”

You can catch Canada vs. Finland on NHL Network later this evening.

Going back to Sunday’s 9-3 win over Slovakia, Aatu Räty notched his third goal of the tournament, but it was an odd one.

With 3:19 left in the second period, Aatu Räty buried the puck into the toy department from downtown as Slovakian netminder Simon Latkoczy was out of position.

Räty did not even lift his head, as he knew that he had a semi-vacant net once he received the puck, as his wrist shot just missed dinging the water bottle.

Or did he know?

According to Räty, he was unaware that the Slovakian net was semi-vacant.

“I didn’t notice that the goalkeeper was maybe a little out of the situation,” Räty said.  “Maybe that Jokke [Joakin Kemell] showed a shot and passed that he [Simon Latkoczy] either fell or threw himself and Jokke thought I had a better place.”

“It managed to bounce off the wing and I then delivered the puck to the goal myself.”

It was a type of goal that Räty had not scored before, but surprisingly one that he has tried before.

“I’ve actually tried to throw something similar a couple of times in this tournament, so it was nice to get a goal from it,” Räty said. “ll take it!”

Seeing two prospects go head to head on Monday night will be entertaining. Both have been in good form during this tournament, with Räty getting the upper hand given his role with Finland, compared to Dufour’s with Canada.

The stakes will be high and we shall see soon if these players step it up in a critical World Junior Championship matchup.

 

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