2021-22 Team: Rogle BK J20 / J20 Nationell
Date of Birth: Nov. 17, 2003
Place of Birth: Sodertalje, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: 38th (among EU skaters)
Whenever you get to the later rounds of the draft, you’re ultimately selecting players who are still good enough to be drafted but also feature flaws in their game that will take time and energy to refine. Given this, the difference between a player hearing their name called in Rounds 6 or 7 or having to wait another year can be minor, sometimes as simple as size.
For defenseman Adam Engstrom, the 2022 NHL Draft will be a big question mark. On the plus side, he’s a solid, 6-foot-2 defensive prospect coming off a strong season for Djurgardens IF J20 in Sweden. In 45 games, he posted eight goals and 28 points and followed this up with seven goals in six postseason games. He also understands his game plan, and he rarely puts his team in a bad position by overcommitting on the ice.
Related: THW’s 2022 NHL Draft Guide
On the negative side, Engstrom’s offensive toolkit is underdeveloped. While he took strides in this department throughout the 2021-22 season, he is still, at best, average on offense. This could be enough to lower his draft stock or potentially push him out of the 2022 Draft altogether. However, a team may see his toolkit and believe they can handle this offensive inefficiency without much of an issue.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Adam Engstrom – NHL Draft Projection
There are two camps when it comes to Engstrom. The first see him as a developing defenseman whose size and toolkit outweigh his shortcomings on the ice. The second believes he is a good but below-average prospect, who improved his draft stock but not enough to hear his name called in 2022.
Personally, I fall into the first camp. Engstrom is a good defenseman, and between his size and toolkit, I believe at least one NHL general manager will be willing to take a shot on him in the later rounds of the draft. He’s a fairly safe pick in the sixth round, as has the potential to develop into a bottom-pairing defenseman. That’s a good low-risk, mid-reward pick.
When challenged, Engstrom shows his toolbox of defensive skills. He has rather good flow in his skating over longer distances that he often maintains to win skating battles with forwards. When forwards enter his zone he always keeps his stick towards the puck and is aggressive to poke the puck loose or to put up his body and hit the opponent. Engstrom does not get caught out of position and he also reads passing lines really well to break up plays and start the puck up ice for his team.Fredrik Haak (From Adam Engstrom Game Report, FCHockey, Feb. 13, 2022)
- Plays a smart, defensive game
- High hockey IQ
- Skates well for his size
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
Overall, Engstrom’s offensive toolkit is lacking. That can still be developed, however, and as long as he is willing to understand his role on the ice, this can be mitigated.
For the team that selects Engstrom, the young Swede will need to be given plenty of time to develop. However, once he finishes playing in the Swedish developmental programs, he could make the jump to play professionally either in the American Hockey League (AHL) or in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). Either option could be perfect for him, as it would allow him to play against men and further build his already solid toolkit.
After a few years of professional hockey, Engstrom could make the jump to the NHL in a limited role. He could even work his way into a top-four defensive role, but for now, his ceiling appears to be a limited 6/7 option.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 2/5, Reward 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 4/10, Defense – 7/10
Adam Engstrom Statistics
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.