The Toronto Maple Leafs are keeping one of their most effective depth forward for at least one more year.
The Maple Leafs took care of some last-minute business on Sunday evening, agreeing to terms with forward Pierre Engvall on a one-year contract extension worth $2.25 million.
The deal, which will keep Engvall with the team that drafted him through at least the 2022-23 season, came less than five minutes before the 5 PM EST deadline for restricted free agents to file for arbitration, avoiding a potentially sticky situation that could have soured the relationship between both sides.
It's been quite the journey for Engvall since turning pro.
After the Maple Leafs nabbed him 188th overall in 2014, Engvall gradually built his skating prowess in Sweden before joining the AHL's Toronto Marlies and completely transforming himself from a perimeter-hugging sniper into a dependable two-way threat with offensive pop.
It wasn't always easy with Engvall, of course.
The lanky Swede took a winding road on his developmental journey that, at one point, saw the Maple Leafs nearly give up on him entirely in 2020. But Engvall stuck with it, breaking out in 2021-22 with 15 goals and 35 points in 78 games while becoming a fearsome penalty killer and a key cog in Toronto's machine.
The one-year term is a tad less than you'd like if you're the Maple Leafs front office. But $2.25 million is a perfectly fine rate to pay a player like Engvall during a contention year, especially with the hope that his performance improves over the summer.
And just like that, another piece of the puzzle slides into place in Toronto.