Maple Leafs: 3 Potential Trade Destinations for Pierre Engvall

The Toronto Maple Leafs have shown they aren’t afraid to make tweaks to their roster in-season and after the team’s latest deal with the Arizona Coyotes which saw forward Nick Ritchie leave town, one player who might be next is fourth-liner Pierre Engvall. Here’s a look at a few possible trade destinations for the former seventh-round pick:

New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils continue to creep the trade market for forward help. The team has been linked to a number of players, and, as we’ve seen in the past with the Andreas Johnsson trade, they aren’t shy to do business with the Maple Leafs.

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Engvall could find himself headed to the Devils as they are out of the playoff picture and focused on their future. The 25-year-old would provide them with some depth on the left-wing, a position that’s been banged up at all season with key injuries to Miles Wood among others.

Pierre Engvall Toronto Maple Leafs
Pierre Engvall, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Engvall could also be given more opportunity on their second power-play unit, much like we saw in Toronto earlier in the season when the injuries were piling up. Ever since the return of Ilya Mikheyev to the Maple Leafs’ lineup, the third-year veteran finds himself pushed down the depth chart, off the power play and receiving minimal ice time on the fourth line with Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds. While he’s an above-average forechecker, the 6-foot-5 native of Sweden shies away from physicality and is not suited for his current role. Toronto would be better off giving someone else a look at this point.

Related: Maple Leafs’ 2022 Trade Targets on the Philadelphia Flyers

New Jersey has right-handed defenseman Damon Severson who the Maple Leafs love, as well as P.K Subban, who – if the Devils are willing to retain half of his salary for the remainder of the season – could also be an option. Engvall would likely be included in either deal, along with a couple of other pieces, depending on which of the two defensemen are headed north.

Seattle Kraken

The expansion Seattle Kraken haven’t lived up to expectations this season and will head into the March 21 trade deadline as sellers. They have a number of pending free agents and players with term on their contracts who are drawing interest from other teams as the Kraken continue to evaluate their roster to determine who the core of their organization will be moving forward. Engvall could provide them with a solid plug-and-play option for the remainder of the season at a reasonable cost of $1.25 million and, as a pending restricted free agent, would give Seattle some team control to determine his future with the club.

The Kraken have forwards Calle Jarnkrok, Mason Appleton and Marcus Johansson, who might interest the Maple Leafs. All three would be an upgrade over Engvall as they either play a role more suited for the fourth line like Appleton, or they have more Stanley Cup playoff experience in Johansson and Jarnkrok, who can both move up the lineup if needed. Seattle is still very much looking towards the future and could use the Maple Leafs as a dance partner near the trade deadline to move older assets for younger pieces.

Chicago Blackhawks

Before the season, the Chicago Blackhawks made a flurry of moves and were expected to be contenders out of the Western Conference, but that hasn’t been the case. The team has become sellers at the trade deadline and reportedly only has three untouchable players, which include Patrick Kane, Seth Jones and captain Jonathan Toews.

Connor Murphy Chicago Blackhawks
Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While Engvall wouldn’t fetch any of the above, he could be included in deals for either defensemen Connor Murphy or Calvin de Haan. Recently, my colleague Alex Hobson showcased the two defenders as trade targets and a package of Engvall along with a solid prospect and mid-round pick could get the deal done.

Engvall Becoming the Odd Man Out in Toronto

Maple Leafs general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas recently pulled off an impressive trade with the Coyotes when they got rid of Ritchie’s $2.5 million cap hit next season while adding defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin and forward Ryan Dzingel. Don’t be fooled by Dzingel being waived; the Maple Leafs are hopeful he clears the wire to add more depth within their forward group. Much like we saw with the Kyle Clifford trade earlier in the season, Toronto doesn’t feel quite comfortable enough not to focus on more left-wing depth.

Don’t forget about top prospect Nick Robertson as well, who has recently come back from injury and received huge praise from Dubas. He loves the way Robertson works and battles, and his NHL release is going to help him light the lamp on a regular basis once he can stay healthy enough to find a regular spot on the big club.

Seeing Robertson light it up in the minors should spark a fire under Engvall’s seat, and if it doesn’t, he’s in trouble. His last six games have resulted in zero points, and this is one of the many pointless streaks we’ve seen this season – the biggest knock on his game would be his inconsistency. Looking over his shoulder is recommended at this point.

The Maple Leafs aren’t done making moves ahead of the trade deadline, and while they recently added some toughness and physicality to the blue line, next up would be off-loading Engvall and his up-and-down contributions to round out their forward group for the postseason.


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