Since I read about two years ago that Pierre Engvall was a bit of a workout nut and was one of the strongest and fittest of all the Toronto Maple Leafs’ players at training camp, I’ve been watching his career. I thought he would become a strong NHL player.
Related: Four Predictions for the Maple Leafs’ Defense & the 2021-22 Season
What Happened to Engvall’s Great Start with the Maple Leafs’ Organization?
When he joined the Toronto Marlies as a player during their Calder Cup run – Sheldon Keefe was the Marlies’ coach then by the way – I read that Keefe threw Engvall into difficult and new situations and he delivered. Then, I thought it was the icing on the cake when Keefe was flown into Arizona to take over from the fired Mike Babcock and he brought Engvall with him on the plane. By the way, Engvall scored during that first game in Phoenix to help give Keefe his first win as an NHL coach.
Given all that, Engvall had to be on his way upwards towards becoming at least a solid NHL player. But it didn’t happen. Somewhere between his first NHL goal and the 2021-22 training camp, something went south. He seemed to fall out of Keefe’s good books. Then, when he was injured during this training camp and couldn’t put up a fight for a roster spot, there was some real concern among Engvall fans that he might be headed toward the waiver wires.
Can Engvall Re-Plant Himself Into Keefe’s Garden?
Perhaps Engvall fell out of Keefe’s good books because some of the things that Engvall used to do he doesn’t seem to do anymore. One of those is that he simply isn’t as physical as he used to be. He no longer seemed to use his size and strength as an advantage. He doesn’t seem to engage the opposition; instead, he sort of does “flybys” in the corners and waves his stick at the other team’s puck carriers.
Fortunately for Engvall, when he came back from his injury he was able to play in two preseason games. He scored three goals. Although one was an empty-netter at the end of a game, the other two were legitimate goals and in fact great shots.
Can Engvall Take Advantage of His Opportunity?
Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, 27-year-old Ilya Mikheyev fell awkwardly on his hand and looks to be out for a while. Could the team’s bad fortune turn into something that’s good for Engvall personally? With Mikyeyev’s injury, Engvall looks as if he’ll be getting a chance to contribute to the team.
After the last preseason game where Engvall substituted in for Mikheyev, coach Keefe weighed in about Engvall’s success. His comment was “He’s trying to establish himself and I thought he did a really good job asserting himself once Mikheyev left. He skated and worked. He’s one of those guys who is going to get more of an opportunity now.” (from “Engvall ready for increased opportunity with Maple Leafs, Brooks placed on waivers, Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun, 10/10/21).
Related: Can Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe Win with a Different Team in 2021-22?
Can Engvall Turn the Corner this Season?
Engvall managed seven goals and 12 points in 42 games with Toronto last season. Can Engvall turn the corner? Can he once and for all find a place on this team? In fact, could he score 35 points this season? Will his flexibility as a center or winger help him establish himself as a valuable option for his team?
That’s the question it seems Engvall will have a chance to answer this season with Mikheyev gone. Engvall has had some jump in his game. He’s been a big part of his team’s preseason wins. Can he become part of his team’s regular-season wins?
Given what his old Marlies’ coach and current Maple Leafs’ coach says, he’ll have a chance to do so.
Leave a Reply
Calgary Flames/ 2 hours ago
Flames’ New GM Says He Wants to Add a Top-Six Forward
Craig Conroy says he's got a few things he wants do with the Flames,...
Dallas Stars/ 3 hours ago
Jamie Benn Suspended 2 Games for Cross-Checking Mark Stone
Jamie Benn has been suspended for two games for his cross-check against Vegas’ Mark...
NHL News/ 5 hours ago
Kyle Dubas Spotted With Crosby As Penguins GM Job Offer Looms
Kyle Dubas met with members of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday and Wednesday, including...
Dallas Stars/ 12 hours ago
Vegas Golden Knights Dominate Game 3, Look to Sweep Series
The Vegas Golden Knights delivered a resounding 4-0 victory over the Dallas Stars in...
NHL News/ 1 day ago
Vitali Kravtsov Returning to KHL: A Closer Look at His Career Path
Vitali Kravtsov is reportedly returning to the KHL after failed stints with the New...
NHL News/ 2 days ago
Panthers One Win Away from Stanley Cup Final After Winning Game 3
The Florida Panthers picked up a 1-0 win on Monday night in Game 3...
NHL News/ 2 days ago
Rangers Reportedly Ready to Trade Barclay Goodrow
The New York Rangers are reportedly prepared to take a less-than-ideal return in a...
Featured/ 2 days ago
No July 1 Deal Means Madhouse with Matthews & Maple Leafs
If Auston Matthews won't sign before July 1, expect chaos in Toronto over the...
Edmonton Oilers/ 3 days ago
Oilers Should Start at Square One With Campbell and Skinner
If the Edmonton Oilers are going to get the most out of their two...
NHL News/ 3 days ago
Penguins Will Seek Permission to Talk to Dubas About GM Job
The Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly reach out to the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking a...
October 11, 2021 at 11:04 am
Engvall is going to be a good player and likely the best 7th rd pick in recent leaf history. Just has to be given a chance. Not suggesting he play top six but he is definitely valuable in the bottom six a she can forecheck, shadow a player, skate like the wind, take faceoffs and play PK.
Pingback: Multiple Waiver Claims In NHL: Brooks Goes From Leafs to Canadiens
Pingback: Brooks Goes From Leafs to Canadiens – Hockey 1 on 1
Pingback: 2 Maple Leafs Preseason Takeaways (Part 1): Bunting & the Power Play
Pingback: Bunting & the Power Play – Hockey 1 on 1