Lou Lamoriello expects big things from Pierre Engvall in the short and long term. That's why the New York Islanders GM signed the speedy forward to a seven-year extension on July 1st.
On Friday, the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Elliotte Freidman and Jeff Marek released an interview with the 27-year-old forward (who was apparently sporting some scruff that will soon be shaved) and asked him about his new contract, his linemates, being a late-round draft pick, and his time playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Marek asked Engvall why it was such a good fit for him on Long Island, and Engvall used it as an opportunity to praise his linemates from last year, Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri. "Right away, I felt pretty comfortable with the system and how they played," Engvall stated.
It was evident that Lamoriello had a strong interest in extending Engvall, a player he was familiar with from Toronto, after he was acquired for a 2024 third-round pick, but that position was solidified with the way Engvall's offensive game excelled when playing on the Isles second line. "I got to play with great players. Nelson and Palmieri, said Engvall. "I felt like we had some chemistry. I'm finding them on the ice, and they're finding me. Easy players to play with."
"Definitely one of the most underrated in the league, Engvall said of Nelson. "He's pretty fast and has a great shot. Before, I thought he was really good with playmaking, but his speed is underrated, and his shot is underrated." As for Palmieri, Engvall stated that while he's not the biggest player, he's strong on the puck and often wins battles along the boards that can spring odd-man rushed and scoring opportunities.
Engvall is the latest of a long list of Islanders that have extended their stay on Long Island after getting a taste of the culture within the dressing room amongst the players. It was part of the reason he decided to stay. "They have you're back, and everyone is fighting for each other, Engvall said. "It builds faith in each other. I'm really happy to come back and play for the Islanders."