When we polled the PHR readership recently and asked who was the best remaining free agent, Toby Enstrom’s name quickly rose to the top. With almost 12% of the votes, readers thought that Enstrom had the most to offer among the extremely thin defense market, something that has had the spotlight turned on it in the last few days. When the Edmonton Oilers lost Andrej Sekera to Achilles surgery, many immediately speculated on a possible veteran signing that could help replace the defenseman’s minutes. Enstrom was clearly one of those names, though there has been no report of contact between the two sides.
That might be because Enstrom is currently practicing with his former team in Sweden, MODO, and has yet to make a decision on where to play in 2018-19. Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet spoke with MODO GM Michael Sundlov, who wants to sign Enstrom and expects the veteran NHL defenseman to make a decision soon. Interestingly MODO was relegated in 2016 and actually now plays in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second tier. Enstrom’s brother Tommy Enstrom plays on the club and wore an “A” as an alternate captain last season, giving the team another bargaining chip to bring to the table.
The 33-year old Enstrom is an unrestricted free agent this summer after a decade in the NHL, originally making his debut for the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2007. A steady contributor, he has been slowed by injuries in recent years and no longer has quite the same offensive touch at the NHL level. The Winnipeg Jets made it clear they wouldn’t be bringing him back given their impressive depth on defense, though there was expected to at least be some interest in him on the open market. It does seem as though he has at least some sort of a North American opportunity according to Sundlov, though there are no specifics listed.