If you don’t yet know who Montreal Canadiens prospect Adam Engstrom is, you’ll find out at the World Juniors later this month.
Canadiens’ third-round pick 2022 NHL Draft was well hidden last season when he played for Djugarden’s U-20 team in Sweden.
Engström put up some pretty respectable numbers for a defenseman in his draft year, even earning a promotion to Djugarden’s main roster for one game.
After his draft season, Engström moved from Djugardens to Rögle and wasted little time in using their facilities to the absolute maximum in preparation for the upcoming season.
“Rögle has some great facilities, and I’ve put in a lot of work over the summer to prepare for the season,” Engstrom said of his preparations. “I wanted to be ready, because the SHL has much bigger players.”
And he was ready.
Not only did he hit the ground running with some fantastic performances at U-20 level, but he has now earned a permanent call-up to Rögle’s main roster.
He currently sits in a three-way tie for the most points by an U-20 defenseman in the SHL with three goals and two assists in 22 games.
For Engström, it’s just a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities in front of him. His breakout party in Sweden is no coincidence; he took the challenge seriously, knew what he needed to improve and spent a lot of time working on it.
“I feel like I got the same kind of opportunities in Djugardens as I have in Rögle,” Engström said of his rapid rise through the ranks at Rögle. “I feel like I’m just more ready now and I can focus on being a good defenseman first, because the SHL is a tough league. As I get more comfortable, I show more of my offensive side.”
Most recently, Engstrom and Detroit Red Wings prospect William Wallinder were tasked with holding top pairing responsibilities in the SHL, both under-21 players.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) November 29, 2022
Ready for the world juniors
His two-way performances earned him a call from the Swedish Hockey Association to represent them at a recent U-20 friendly tournament in the Czech Republic and most recently saw him named in Sweden’s preliminary list for Junior World Championship.
“I know we’re missing some players, but I think we have a very good team,” Engström said 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, among others, giving Engström an even greater opportunity to not only crack the roster but also maintain a prominent role for the club.
Even so, Sweden will have a very interesting offensive roster this season with several former 1st round picks. Engström hopes to contribute to the club’s success by focusing on his defense and exploiting offensive opportunities.
The youngster is still excited to represent his country and was especially excited to show Canadiens fans what he can do in Halifax this holiday season.
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) November 29, 2022
Relationship with the Montreal Canadiens
Since the draft, Engstrom has followed the Montreal Canadiens whenever he can, impressed by the exciting, offensive style they’ve played under Martin St-Louis.
The Canadiens also do their best to check in on Engstrom from time to time and give him feedback on his play on a recurring basis.
“I’ve talked a few times with the Canadiens’ scouts, mostly Christer Rockström,” Engström said of his relationship with the Canadiens. “We talk about my game and what I need to improve.”
Engström confirmed that he has one more year on his contract with Rögle, but that there has been no discussion with the Montreal Canadiens about his future after that.
The plan is to see where he is within the next year and decide what would be the best approach, but in the meantime, the Canadiens have to be happy with what they’ve seen.
Rögle gets to a beautiful goal that involves the entire 5-man unit🚨🏒
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) November 27, 2022