Islanders prospects Simon Holmstrom, left, and William Dufour.

Islanders prospects Simon Holmstrom, left, and William Dufour.

The path from development camp participant to making the NHL roster is usually an unlikely one. Typically, there’s a side trip to the AHL or a ticket back to junior hockey. But forwards Simon Holmstrom and William Dufour have both already dressed for the Islanders.

So if somebody emerges from the team’s 23-player prospect development camp to make the opening-night roster, Holmstrom or Dufour would seem to have the best odds.

“Everybody wants to play in the NHL, everybody wants their spot,” the 21-year-old Dufour said on Thursday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow after the development camp’s first on-ice practice. “I’ll do whatever it takes to put myself in a good spot and I’ll just work as hard as I can during training camp to make the roster.”

The 6-3, 212-pound Dufour, a fifth-round pick in 2020 entering his second professional season, dressed for one NHL game last season, logging just 6:48 in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Jan. 18 as he was a minus-2. He did have 21 goals and 27 assists in 69 games for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

The 6-2, 215-pound Holmstrom, selected 23rd overall in 2019 as the Islanders’ most recent first-round pick, had six goals and three assists in 50 NHL games last season. The 22-year-old is attending his fifth Islanders’ development camp.

“You’ve got to remember, he’s still young,” said Bridgeport coach Rick Kowalsky, who is running the on-ice sessions at development camp. “He’s been in pro hockey for a fair amount of years now but he’s still a young player. I look at him as a guy to maybe emerge as a leader with this group [of prospects] because of his NHL experience.”

Holmstrom, at times last season, displayed a dangerous shot. But it wasn’t consistent.

“That’s the thing I know I’m the best at,” Holmstrom said of producing offensively. “I know I didn’t show it last year. I really want to show it. I know it’s there somewhere. I’ve just got to find it.”

The Islanders will enter training camp with possibly 13 forwards — out of a likely 14 spots — reasonably assured of making the team. Holmstrom and Dufour, who both can be re-assigned to Bridgeport without passing through waivers, are not among that 13.

Dufour worked hard to improve his skating in the offseason and also reshaped his body, dropping about 10 pounds while still adding muscle.

Said Dufour, “When you taste the NHL, you just want to stay there.”

Notes & quotes: Islanders owner Scott Malkin watched the early portion of Thursday’s practice with president/general manager Lou Lamoriello . . . Forward Daylan Kuefler, a sixth-round pick in 2022, is in attendance for development camp but will not skate. He was injured last season during the Western Hockey League playoffs.

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