Pierre Engvall has special message for Sheldon Keefe

The former Leaf is speaking out.



Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs won't soon forget Pierre Engvall, whom the team selected in the seventh round (188th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft and would go on to spend the next six years within the organization. 

His time with the Maple Leafs came to a close this past season after he was dealt to the New York Islanders at the NHL Trade Deadline; he subsequently inked a long-term deal to stay with the Islanders this summer. 

Engvall joined Sportsnet's Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts recently, and he described his time with the Leafs by starting with his impressions of the notorious hockey media in the city: 

"Obviously, it can be a hard market to play in, especially with the media," Engvall told Friedman and Marek about Toronto. 

"But I think you can have it to your advantage, too. The media was always good to me and everyone was really good. I have nothing bad to say about that. You can feel it's more pressure there, I think. You can feel it in the air, somehow. 

"I think it was great to play for Toronto. And I think it really gets you ready for what's coming next. I had a great time there and I think I developed good playing for Toronto."

He certainly had a good attitude about being selected late in the draft, especially after the successful careers of two of his Swedish countrymen who were also taken late in their own respective drafts. 

"If I saw someone else make it, like from seventh round, like (Henrik) Zetterberg or (Henrik) Lundqvist, if they can make it, why not me?" Engvall said.

"I think my first year coming to the Marlies I think was a learning process. Living on the other side, a long way from home,  I think it was a big adjustment. I think I didn't have a good season that year. And then the season after, I kind of lowered my expectations, I got to play out more my game and it went really well in the AHL and I got called up."

Additionally, Engvall had a special shoutout to his former head coach in Sheldon Keefe, whom he credits with believing in him at both the AHL and NHL levels. 

"I think when Keefe came in, he knew what I could do in the AHL and he believed that I could do it in the NHL, too," he said. "After first game there, I got my goal and I think from then I understand, like, what I did in the AHL maybe I can do in the NHL."

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