We catch up with Sens assistant general manager Pierre Dorion to talk about the team's signing of Swedish prospect Andres Englund to and entry-level contract...
On seeing Englund play at the World Juniors:
I think being captain of the Swedish World Junior team was a big step in his development. He took charge as someone who prided himself on not being on the ice for goals against, he played a match-up role, he cleared the front of the net well, he opened up lanes for the goalie to see the puck and he really battled strong down low. He's a big bodied, defensive defenceman who's really strong physically already at his age. He's physically and mentally mature and he's really developed great qualities as a leader.
His progression since Development Camp last summer:
We saw some progress last year at Development Camp from the year before when we drafted him but I think over the course of the season is where we've really seen some huge progression. Especially when he stepped into a big role with Team Sweden at the World Juniors and playing top-4 minutes for Djurgårdens in the men's league. Those are things that we saw and liked about his game.
On where he could potentially play next season:
You never know...he might challenge for a spot on the team. If we look at guys like Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci, they've both spent time in the minors whether it's a month or a few months. I think he's someone who could challenge for a spot but I think for him to get acclimatized to Pro North American hockey spending some time in Binghamton would be really beneficial for him. We feel comfortable in saying that down the road he for sure is an NHL defenceman.
On the opportunities that may exist for him to challenge for a spot with the Sens:
For defencemen, a lot of teams are going to go through 10 or 12 during a season but I think for us he and Randy Lee really communicated this year and he indicated to Randy right from the get go that his intention was to come to North America as did Fredrik Claesson after he felt that he become good enough in the Swedish Elite League and that it was time to move to the North American Pro league. In talking with Randy and Randy watching his development, we all felt that it was the best thing for him to come over in the 16-17 season.
On how the rest of Englund's season might play out:
Right now he's playing with the Swedish Men's National Team that goes to the World Championship. He's practicing with them, he'll play exhibition games with them but obviously there are going to be NHL players that play on that squad. There's a chance that he could still be with them but realistically he probably won't be when they go to the World Championship. Just the fact that he's part of the group that's being considered to play at the World Championship is something that shows that the Swedish Hockey Federation sees him in a good light and if ever they would let him go before the season ended in Binghamton we might bring him over to play some games in Binghamton.