With their lone 5th round pick Ottawa took a chance on the raw forward
Pierre Dorion took another swing on a double-overager this time selecting left-winger Eric Engstrand out of Sweden. Most players selected in the later rounds are projects and Engstrand is no different, but there are some promising traits that he possesses.
Date of Birth: May 18, 2000
Hometown: Varberg, Sweden
H: 6’4″ W: 212 Pounds
Born in Sweden, Eric Engstrand played high-level hockey all the way through his minor hockey career up until he reached junior, where he would continue his solid play. Engstrand played with the Frölunda program up until he joined Malmö last season. His first draft year was in 2018 where he was still trying to find his game, only producing 11 points in 31 games in the SuperElit (Sweden’s top junior league), he wasn’t on any NHL teams radars. More of the same with the following season as he produced just 26 points in 42 games, an improvement but once again not enough to get him drafted. In 2019-2020 that would all change, playing the season as a 19-year-old, Engstrand would explode for 58 points in just 37 games, finishing in a tie for 2nd in points/game with a mark of 1.57. Engstrand also made his first appearance in the SHL and despite going pointless in 9 games for Malmö IF, it provided invaluable experience.
A large, rangy winger, Engstrand has surprising speed for his size and has an enticing skillset. Elite prospects had some interesting points on Engstrand:
Any player with that size and speed has significant potential, while it appears he isn’t physical he could easily become an intimidating presence on the ice and likely will have to be to crack the NHL.
What They’re Saying
Tony Ferrari of Dobber Prospects commented on Engstrand:
"“A big winger who plays a more skilled game. He has a good shot and decent playmaking abilities but hasn’t made an impact beyond junior yet.”"
Not making an impact at the men’s level yet despite being 20-years-old is a legitimate concern at this point, but the skillset on Engstrand offers excitement.
Colin Cudmore of Silver Seven was intrigued by the selection:
He had written about Engstrand prior to the draft and noted it as a “swing he could get behind”. The intriguing production last season and raw skills Engstrand possesses are sure to spark people’s intrigue.
Engstrand has started play with Malmö IF in the SHL and seems to be a full-time player on the roster. Through 8 games Engstrand has recorded 1 goal, which was his first point ever in the SHL. The goal came off an assist by no other than Joe Veleno (i know), an interesting assist man for his first career goal.
A tidy deflection in front was enough to get the monkey off the back of the Senators draft pick and let’s hope there are plenty more to come.