Pierre Engvall failed to move the needle in first full season with the NY Islanders

New York Islanders v Dallas Stars
New York Islanders v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

It was a bit of a head-scratcher when the New York Islanders signed Pierre Engvall to a seven-year contract extension on Jul. 1st. That he was brought back wasn't a surprise, but the length of the deal, even if intended to keep the AAV down, was unusual for a player with an uneven NHL career.

Engvall's talent has always been tantalizing. He has a combination of size and speed that stands out and often offers flashes of a top-six forward who could be a 50-point scorer. For those who didn't object to the extension, the argument was, at worst, he'd be a modestly priced third-line player, and in the first year of his new contract, that's how Engvall performed.

"I think it was up and down," Engvall said of his first full season on Long Island "Me, Pager and Lee found our game, but I want to be better, prepare myself this summer and get better."

After picking up where his line with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri picked off to start the season, the line cooled off, and so did Engvall. He was also notably a healthy scratch three times this past season, twice under Lane Lambert and once under Patrick Roy.

The 27-year-old scored ten goals and 18 assists in 74 games this season, a drop off the 17 he had combined with the Isles and Toronto the previous year. In 2021-22, he had a career-high 35 points (15G, 20A) in 75 games with the Maple Leafs. He can produce more offensively, and the Islanders need him, as depth scoring was an issue for a team with three 30-goal scorers and Mathew Barzal.

"Knowing I'm coming back here again feels really good, but at the same time, it's the same every summer.," Engvall added. "You have to work hard, prepare your body for what's coming."

Engvall failed to move the needle too much in either direction this season.

The same questions about his potential will be present when training camp kicks off in September. The hope will be that Roy can make him a better and more consistent player, and succeed in doing so where other coaches have failed.