The NY Islanders had to make moves at the 2023 trade deadline if they wanted to squeeze their way into the playoffs, and some (or many) can argue that Pierre Engvall was the better addition when compared to Bo Horvat. Engvall was acquired for just a third-round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Isles certainly got great value for the Swedish winger.
Engvall is a prototypical Islanders forward: responsible defensively, works hard in the corners, and chips in on the scoresheet semi-frequently. He always seemed to make the smart play when it was needed, rarely turning the puck over even while under pressure from opposing defenses. What separates him from his teammates, however, is his speed and skating ability. The Islanders certainly won't blow you away with their agility besides a few players, such as Mathew Barzal and Horvat, so adding someone that could keep up with fast teams in the Metro was something the blue and orange needed.
"He’s certainly an individual that you’d like to keep in your organization with the style he plays and his speed. I can’t overemphasize his speed."- Lou Lamoriello
NY Islanders 2022-23 Player report card: Pierre Engvall
The former 7th-round pick in 2014 numbers won't jump off the screen at you, but he stayed consistent near the end of the season when the Islanders needed it most. In his 18 games with New York, Engvall finished with five goals and four assists, along with 17 goals and 13 assists in the entire season. He was at his hottest in the middle of March, scoring three goals in as many games against Washington, Anaheim, and Los Angeles, the latter of the two coming on the road. He entered the playoffs somewhat cold, staying off the box score in the final three regular-season games, but his impact was still felt in all three zones. His best performance in the playoffs came in game five against the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring a goal and an assist in a game the Islanders needed to win to not get eliminated.
In many fans' eyes, this is a player that needs to be re-signed in the offseason by Lou Lamoriello (if he renews his contract, too). Engvall's cap hit is currently $2.25 million and is set to be a UFA. He is due for a raise, but it's unlikely that the price would be too much higher than his current salary. It may have been a small sample size, but Engvall is deserving of a B+ grade for his efforts in the blue and orange.