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Dufour Named Finalist For David Branch Player of the Year Award

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New York Islanders prospect William Dufour

Back on June 15, New York Islanders prospect William Dufour took home the 2022 Michel-Briére Trophy, which is awarded to the MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Scoring 56 goals with 60 assists in just 66 games will usually get that job done.

But could he add a second MVP award to his trophy case? On Monday, William Dufour was announced as a finalist for the CHL David Branch Award, which is given to the most outstanding player across the Canadian Hockey League.

The pool for this award consists of other league MVP recipients. You had Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers) a 19-year-old Dallas Stars prospect who scored 45 goals with 59 assists (104 points) in 59 regular-season games to capture the WHL MVP honors.  Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), also a 19-year-old Dallas Stars prospect, scored 46 goals but stood out with his 78 assists (124 points) in 68 games to capture the OHL MVP award.

And then you had William Dufour.

If you look at all the nominees, what stood out was Dufour’s goal total. He scored nine more goals than Stankoven and Johnston, while also being second in assists between the three.

It will be interesting to see which one of these forwards takes home the award. Here are the last three winners and what they accomplished in their MVP seasons:

In 2018-19, New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniére (Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL ) won the award after a 37-goal, 68-assist season at age 17. In 2017-18, the award went to Alex Barré-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, QMJHL) who scored 53 goals and recorded 63 assists for 116 points in 65 games at the age of 21.

And we will go one more, with the 2016-17 winner being Chicago Blackhawks forward, then Eerie Otters forward Alex Dabrincat, DeBrincat recorded 127 points in 63 games, with 65 goals and 62 assists. He was the last player not a member of the QMJHL to win the award, as the Otters are part of the OHL.

William Dufour’s 2021-22 story is still being written.

This upcoming Wednesday, June 29, he and the St. John Sea Dogs will be playing in the Memorial Cup Finals against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

The reason that the Sea Dogs are still alive is thanks to a four-goal game by Dufour back on Saturday, which erased a three-goal deficit in the second period.

Dufour Demolition, Sea Dogs Heading to Finals

Through three Memorial Cup games, Dufour has six goals, six points which puts him in a four-way tie for most points so far in the tournament. If the St. John Sea Dogs win the entire thing and Dufour has any type of points in the Finals, It’s a safe bet he will be the recipient of the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy, as MVP of the Memorial Cup.

Could his season really end with three MVP trophies?

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