The Toronto Maple Leafs have rewarded another Toronto Marlies graduate with a two-year deal signing forward Pierre Engvall to an extension.
When the deal is over, Engvall will still be a restricted free agent which means that this deal provides the Leafs with some flexibility and assurances going forward. It’s certainly beneficial for both the team and player considering Engvall has carved an important role since being recalled from the Toronto Marlies in November.
Much like Justin Holl, who was signed to a three-year extension in December, Engvall is a player who paid his time in the AHL and has made a seamless transition under Sheldon Keefe. At times, he has been asked to play higher up in the lineup along with playing as the third or fourth-line centre.
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With seven goals and 14 points in 35 games, Engvall is on pace for 24 points in 60 games which is what you expect for a bottom-six forward who doesn’t get a lot of time on the power play.
Considering his six-foot-five, 214-pound frame, Engvall provides something the Leafs don’t have a lot of which is size upfront and is an above-average skater which was used to the Leafs advantage when he was the centre on the third line with Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.
What this move also does is try to get a starting point for Ilya Mikheyev who will probably be the next free agent on Dubas’ to-do list. The Leafs will probably have to pay Mikheyev more based on his offensive production but as an RFA, the Leafs can try to keep the cap hit reasonable.
The Leafs can also consider moving out a forward like Johnsson in a package for a defenceman at the deadline knowing they have the depth that can produce.
What do you think about the Engvall deal? Does this mean the Leafs can move a forward in a trade? Let us know in the comments below.