The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t waiting around the lock up some of their young talent, this time signing Pierre Engvall to a two-year contract extension. The deal will keep him under contract through the 2021-22 season and carries an average annual value of $1.25MM. Engvall is in his rookie season with the Maple Leafs and was scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
The 23-year old forward has come out of basically nowhere for the Maple Leafs, but now looks like a potential building block moving forward. Selected in the seventh round in 2014, he came over to North America just in time to help the Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup championship in 2018. Last season in his first full year on this side of the ocean, he recorded 19 goals and 32 points for the Marlies, gaining trust from his head coach at the time.
That head coach, Sheldon Keefe, is now back behind Engvall in the NHL and has trusted him in various situations including on the penalty kill and in a bottom-six center role. The 6’5″ forward has an incredibly long reach and can fool defenders with his surprising speed. In 35 games this season with the Maple Leafs he has 14 points, a nice start for a player that could have a bigger role down the road.
The Maple Leafs obviously have to include some relatively inexpensive names on their roster given the huge amount of cap space used at the top, and Engvall has shown he can perform at the NHL level admirably. A deal like this doesn’t carry a ton of risk for the team, and leaves him as a restricted free agent at its conclusion.