Montreal Canadiens ink Adam Engstrom to three-year entry-level deal

The Canadiens have agreed to terms with their 2022 third round draft selection Adam Engstrom
Czech Republic v Sweden: 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Czech Republic v Sweden: 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens and 2022 92nd overall draft selection Adam Engstrom agreed to terms on his three-year entry-level deal, the club announced on Friday morning.

With Engstrom signed, it officially marks the end of his career in the Swedish Hockey League with Rogle BK. Engstrom spent the better part of his draft plus one season with Rogle, where he posted 16 points through 43 games. Before joining Rogle's men's team, Engstrom played seven games with the J20 squad, where he scored 13 points.

Engstrom's new deal runs through 2026-27, so he is set to join the Laval Rocket for the 2024-25 season, after presumably attending Canadiens training camp in late September. Although the Canadiens left defence group is pretty well stocked, Engstrom could be one of the guys who shoots up the depth chart and secures a spot. It will be a tough battle no doubt; since there are so many defenders but only three spots, maybe four if a lefty plays on his weak side.

Anyways, Engstrom will more than likely play down in Laval where he will join a great cast of young defenders. Among the group of guys he could play alongside, there is Logan Mailloux, Reinbacher, Justin Barron and Brady Keeper. On his strong side, there are William Trudeau, Tobie Bisson, Mattias Norlinder and Olivier Galipeau.

The domino effect that could result from Engstrom coming over to Laval could be significant, in that there will be five healthy left-shot defenders and only three spots. Lane Hutson seems like a sure bet to secure a role with the Canadiens, which could also further complicate things. Engstrom didn't sign to ride the bench, but Jordan Harris, Jayden Struble and Arber Xhekaj will also want to play and with Mike Matheson, Kaiden Guhle and Hutson in Montreal, things are tight.

It's promising to see the talent starting to find their way into the Canadiens and Rocket lineup, it marks a turn of the tide. Gone are the days of immobile, slow defenders like Hal Gill, Roman Hamrlik and Karl Alzner. No disrespect to any of those guys, who all had great NHL careers, but the Canadiens have a mobile, physical, very talented group of defenders that will carry them toward becoming contenders.

Engstrom adds another high-potential defenseman into the Habs' bag of tricks and when the Canadiens pull themselves out of the rebuild, it's hard to imagine that the defence won't be one of their biggest strengths.