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In Hainsight: Kent Hughes Adds Another Blueliner to the Mix

May 3, 2024, 2:26 PM ET [559 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

Unsurprisingly, Kent Hughes has signed 20-year-old defenseman Adam Engstrom to a three-year entry-level contract. Engstrom played in the Swedish Hockey League this past season gathering four goals and 18 assists in 51 games. His 22 points made him second in scoring among defensemen on his Rogle BK team.

Engstrom is yet another left-shot defenseman who will make the Canadiens’ blue line even more crowded than it already is. The Habs selected him in the third round of the 2022 Draft, 92nd overall. On paper, Engstrom is the perfect defenseman for today’s NHL. He’s a mobile blueliner who shines brightly with the puck on his stick. He’s great in transition and can create counterattacks. He’s not afraid to jump in the rush and supports the attack when he sees a good opportunity.

Like most Europeans, he’s likely to need some time to adjust to North American play and ice size. At last year’s development camp, Engstrom was impressed by the talent around him and said it would be a good place to develop with such good players to face. He also mentioned that he was hoping to improve his physical play and the defensive side of his game. At 6’2’’ he will be expected to get involved in the physical side of the game.

This is yet another player Kent Hughes will have to evaluate before deciding who stays and who goes. There’s no two ways about it, Hughes will have to part with at least one offensive defenseman if he wants to get some top-six talent to help his team’s anemic attack. It will be interesting to see who he decides to part with, so don’t get too attached to anyone on the defense corps, they could soon be headed elsewhere…

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