Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello addressed the media in Minnesota to discuss the newest acquisition while also providing updates on the injury front.
Lamoriello knows a thing or two about Engvall, as the Swedish forward played under Lamoriello for three years, from 2015 to 2018.
“Pierre is a very versatile player. He’ll bring a dimension that he can play any one of the forward positions, and probably his biggest asset is his skating ability,” Lamoriello said. “He’s got a long reach, being 6-5, 220.”
Engvall is a pending unrestricted free agent, and Lamoriello rarely makes trades to acquire rentals.
“We’ll take one thing at a time,” Lamoriello said when asked about an extension. “He’s certainly an individual that you’d like to keep in your organization with the style he plays and his speed. I can’t overemphasize his speed.”
Engvall will not make it to Minnesota and is expected to make his Islanders debut against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
With Bo Horvat’s new extension, which carries an $8.5 million average annual value, the Islanders only have $6.8 million in projected cap space following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season.
Engvall would join Semyon Varlamov, Scott Mayfield, Zach Parise & Hudson Fasching as unrestricted free agents following the season, along with restricted free agents Wahlstrom, Samuel Bolduc, and Parker Wotherspoon.
As for where Lamoriello feels his team is right now.
“Well, I think it’s my job to give our group the best chance to have success,” Lamoriello said. “And I think with the recent injuries that we’ve had, we’ve certainly done everything that’s expected, and I think this (Engvall move) gives us a little extra support.”
Lamoriello also provided an update on centerman Jean-Gabriel Pageau who will miss his eighth straight game Tuesday with an upper-body injury.
Islanders announced that Pageau has resumed skating and is now day-to-day. He is still listed on Injured Reserve and likely won’t be activated until the day he can return to the lineup.
Forward Mathew Barzal remains week-to-week.