Some appreciate his play, most don’t, but there’s no question he’s beloved by the fanbase.
That’s Deryk Engelland.
When a bad play leads to a goal some fans are quick to point out the last guy defending the puck. Which at times, happens to be Engelland. However, it can take a series of events why a team gave up a goal. We can’t always blame the guy that made the initial turnover or the last line defense. It is a team sport after all.
Believe it or not, Engelland has proven to be a valuable asset to the Golden Knights organization. And in many ways. We all know his community impact, leadership skills, and that he’s an overall good dude.
But there’s more. Engelland helped one of the Golden Knights core players, Shea Theodore grow, and is in the process of breaking in two and possibly more defensive prospects this season. Consider Engelland as a defensive coach on the ice, or training wheels. And he’s only charging the league minimum.
First of all, we like to try to put experience with a little bit of inexperience. Just to give them a little bit of a safety valve. -Ryan McGill
His minutes have dipped, but so did his salary. Relative to his contract, he’s expected to play a third-pair role, protected by high offensive zone starts, and busting ass on the penalty kill. That’s the job description for most team’s 5th-7th defenseman. Not many have the extra skills to be an on-ice prospect developer.
Look around the league, only a few franchises carry a 37-year-old defenseman making the league minimum playing full time. To prove how valuable Engelland is, just watch Theodore on the ice without his training wheels.
To the Engelland doubters screaming to bench him, this won’t change your mind. There’s a good chance you find it to be a sappy excuse for his miscues. I see it much more simply. Engelland is an aging defenseman that will make occasional mistakes, but he’s paid that way. Also, keep in mind, it might be difficult playing with multiple partners. The one thing we can all agree on is Jake Bischoff and Nic Hague have looked okay out there, still growing but overall there are signs of positive adjustment. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Engelland deserves some credit for the youngling’s success.
If something happens on the ice where it didn’t go well for the younger guy, he makes a mistake, he’s going back to the bench with the guy he’s playing with. You like to have someone who is a good person with experience whispering in his ear saying ‘don’t worry about it kid.’ -Mike Kelly
So, the organization knows what he is. Their expectation for Engelland is to be a third-pair defenseman. How do we know? Follow the money, they offered him the league minimum. Add in his coaching/development ability and he’s really a bargain.
Now let me have it Deryk doubters, I’m ready to fend you off like Engelland did to Debrincat last night.