A look at the 5 key unrestricted free agents for the NY Islanders this off-season
The tall and lean speedy forward did everything he could to prove worthy of being brought back from the Islanders after being acquired at the trade deadline for a 2024 third-round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs. After being benched in the third period in his first few games with the team as he got adapted to the team's style of play, Engvall flourished on a line with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri that was by far and away the team's most consistent through the final third of the season.
In 18 games with the Isles, Engvall had five goals and four assists. Of his five goals, four of them opened the scoring, as was the case in Game 5 when Engvall beat Antti Raanta in the first period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-2.
We don't yet know yet if Lou Lamoriello will be calling the shots next season, but he has spoken openly about retaining players that you acquire through trading draft picks. He's already done that with JG Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, and Bo Horvat. The 26-year-old Engavall put enough of his upside on display to show that he could be an asset to the team's top nine with a rare combination of size and speed that the Islanders don't have elsewhere on the roster.
Toronto had extended Engvall on just a one-year, $2.25M contract last summer. He'll be looking for more money and term this off-season, but the numbers should remain modest enough to extend his Islanders' tenure if the team wants him back.