The AHL transactions page shows that the Toronto Marlies have added Pierre Engvall on an ATO. He was a seventh round pick in 2014 and is about to turn 21 in a few weeks.
He enjoyed a lot of success in the Allsvenskan this year. His team Mora IK finished first in the league and then capped that off by winning the tournament to gain promotion to the SHL next year. Engvall had good goal scoring numbers in the regular season and the playoffs on a strong team with a lot of scoring punch.
For young prospects in Sweden there are two ways to get out of the Allsvenskan hockey league and into the top ranked SHL. You can be loaned or signed to an SHL team because you show promise—this is how Carl Grundström went from the relegated MODO to the top ranked Frölunda. The second way is to earn your way up through promotion, like Engvall has done.
Pierre Engvall - Elite Prospects Data
|IF Troja-Ljungby U16||U16 Elit||-||-||-||-||-|
|IF Troja-Ljungby J18||J18 Elit||25||9||4||13||10|
|Sweden U16 (all)||International-Jr||5||2||0||2||0|
|2012-2013||Frölunda HC J18||J18 Elit||20||11||9||20||16|
|Frölunda HC J18||J18 Allsvenskan||10||7||7||14||6||Playoffs||3||0||1||1||2|
|Frölunda HC J20||SuperElit||4||2||0||2||0|
|Sweden U17 (all)||International-Jr||7||1||0||1||4|
|2013-2014||Frölunda HC J18||J18 Elit||9||6||18||24||6|
|Frölunda HC J20||JCWC||4||0||1||1||2|
|Frölunda HC J18||J18 Allsvenskan||7||5||7||12||2||Playoffs||5||1||0||1||6|
|Frölunda HC J20||SuperElit||39||17||18||35||42||Playoffs||3||0||1||1||0|
|Sweden U18 (all)||International-Jr||6||3||0||3||0|
|2014-2015||Frölunda HC J20||SuperElit||38||17||34||51||50||Playoffs||8||5||1||6||10|
|Frölunda HC||Champions HL||2||1||0||1||0|
|Sweden U19 (all)||International-Jr||1||1||0||1||0|
|Sweden U20 (all)||International-Jr||3||1||0||1||2|
|2015-2016||Mora IK J20||SuperElit||0||0||0||0||0||Relegation||2||1||4||5||2|
The surge in scoring from last year to this is encouraging to see, but keep in mind this is a lower level league he’s playing in.
The second best goaltender in the Allsvenskan this year by save percentage was Andrew Engelage, a Canadian former OHL star who managed two games with the Marlies back in 2010-2011 and 10 the previous year. They weren’t very good games. He has never risen above the level of an ECHL goalie in North America, but is cream of the crop in lower level European leagues.
Scoring on a man like Engelage through defenders like yesterday’s signing, Jesper Lindgren, is not the same thing as playing in the AHL, and expectations that he will match Andreas Johnsson’s performance are likely not going to be fulfilled. The paced of play in the Allsvenskan is much slower than anything Johnsson experienced at the top end of the SHL.
But this signing is really good news! We get a chance to see him in a North American context—if he gets some game time—and the Leafs can decide if he is someone they want to keep in the organization. He may bee the hidden diamond that believers in his goal stats hope he is.
I expect another Swede tomorrow though. One a day keeps the other teams at bay.
In interesting and somewhat related news, the very talented and young coach of Mora IK, Jeremy Colliton, is moving back to Canada according to the team. He hasn’t said if he’s got a coaching job, but his name has come up as a potential AHL coach before now. His is a name to watch out for.