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Canadiens Engstrom Impressing In Sweden, To Surprise At WJC



Montreal Canadiens prospect Adam Engstrom

If you don’t yet know who Montreal Canadiens prospect Adam Engstrom is yet, you’re about to find out at the World Juniors later this month.

The Canadiens’ 3rd round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft was well hidden last season playing for Djugardens’ U-20 team in Sweden.

Engstrom put up some pretty respectable numbers for a defenceman in his draft year, and even earned a promotion to Djugardens’ main roster for a game.

After his draft season, Engstrom moved from Djugardens to Rögle and wasted little time using their facilities to the absolute maximum to prepare for this upcoming season.

“Rögle has some great facilities, and I put in a lot of work in the summer to prepare for the season,” said Engstrom regarding his preparation. “I wanted to be ready, because the SHL has much bigger players.”

And ready he was.

Not only did he hit the ground running with some stellar performances at the U-20 level, but he’s now earned himself a permanent call-up to Rögle’s main roster.

He currently sits in a three-way tie for the most points for a U-20 defenceman in the SHL with three goals and two assists in 22 games.

For Engstrom, it’s just a question of taking advantage of the opportunities put in front of him. His breakout party in Sweden is no coincidence; he took the challenge seriously, knew what he needed to improve and put a lot of time in working on it.

“I feel I got the same kind of opportunities in Djugardens as I have in Rögle,” said Engstrom about his rapid rise through the ranks in Rögle. “I feel I’m just more ready now and I can focus on being a good defensive player first, because the SHL is a tough league. As I get more comfortable, I am showing more of my offensive side.”

Most recently, Engstrom and Detroit Red Wings prospect William Wallinder were tasked with holding down top-pairing responsibility in the SHL, both players under the age of 21.

Ready For The World Juniors

His two-way performances earned him a call from Sweden’s Hockey Federation to represent them at a recent U-20 friendly tournament in Czechia and most recently saw him named to Sweden’s preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships.

“I know we’re missing some players, but I think we have a very good team,” said Engstrom regarding the makeup of Team Sweden’s preliminary roster. “I want to go there and do my best and show what I can do.”

Sweden will be without 6th overall pick Simon Edvinsson, amongst others, offering Engstrom even more of an opportunity to not only crack the roster, but hold down a prominent role for the club.

Despite that, Sweden is set to have a very interesting offensive roster this season with multiple former 1st-round picks. Engstrom is hoping to contirbute to the success of the club by focusing on his defence and capitalizing on offensive opportunities.

The youngster remains excited to represent his country and was particularly excited to show Canadiens fans what he can do in Halifax this holiday season.

Relationship With Montreal Canadiens

Since the draft, Engstrom has been following the Montreal Canadiens whenever he can, impressed with the exciting, offensive style they’ve been playing under Martin St-Louis.

The Canadiens also due to their best to check in on Engstrom from time to time, and provide him with feedback on his game on a recurring basis.

“I’ve spoken a few times to the Canandiens’ scouts, mostly Christer Rockström,” said Engstrom on his relationship with the Canadiens. “We talk about my game and what I need to improve.”

Engstrom confirmed that he has one more year on his contract with Rögle, but that no discussion has occurred with the Montreal Canadiens as to his future beyond that point.

The plan is to see where he’s at within the next year and decide what would be the best course of action, but, in the meantime, the Canadiens have to be happy with what they’ve seen.

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Curtis Ault

Looking forward to how he does at the World Juniors. Also looking forward to seeing Axel Sandin-Pellikka if he gets an opportunity with Sweden.

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