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Adam Engström speaks about his contract with the Montreal Canadiens, his past, and his future

Adam Engström at practice. | Credit: Peter Ekholm, Rögle BK

Adam Engström calls, and after signing his entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, there’s a smile in his voice even if he can’t be seen.

“Thank you so much, it’s fantastic [to sign with the Canadiens],” he said. “I am extremely happy that my work has paid off. It has been a few tough days after the loss to Skellefteå in the SHL finals.”

Engström is pragmatic in regards to his season with Rögle. “We could easily have ended up outside the playoffs, it was more or less an overtime win that [allowed] us to get in. To then end up in the finals will have to be deemed a success even if we lost it in the end. I am happy with my play, four points in 15 playoff games. You want to win but…”

You can tell the loss still lingers a bit.

Looking forward and the towards next season, Engström is fully focused on his first NHL training camp and doing his best to earn a spot on the roster. “It will be tough, but I will give it my all. Then we will have to see. It is a stacked blue line, everyone knows that, but I am not going there to miss out. I am going to try.”

When forced to talk about the possiblilty of not making the team out of camp Engström is a bit evasive “I will go where Montreal wants me and thats most likely AHL. However, that blue line is stacked there as well, so we will see.”

Engström is out of a European contract but he can go out on loan to a European club if Montreal would want him to get more minutes than he might get in the Laval, but it is up to the team and is not required. There is recent precedent to this as Dallas Stars prospect Lian Bichsel did exactly that and went to back to Europe and split his time between the AHL and SHL. This, however, is a conundrum for management to handle. Engström’s focus is clearly on Montreal.

“I need to get even better in the defensive end, in the physicality of the game but also the game when I have the puck on my stick. You need to believe in yourself and you need to dare to make the difficult play.” Engström pauses before he continues, “I want to play as much as possible to be able to get better, but I need to earn that place.”

It will be an interesting summer for Engström who will build up to get ready for the big show, a short break after the SHL finals before he gets back to the gym to start his improvement and getting ready to start his time in the Montreal Canadiens organization in earnest.

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