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Underdogs: Tobias Enstrom Rises Again

Why not start with the guy who should have never made it?

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets

Tobias Enstrom should have never made the NHL. He was a late round draft pick and an undersized defenceman. But he did make it and the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets were better for it.

Enstrom is no longer in the NHL. He is now the captain of his hometown team MODO Hockey Ornskoldsvik and playing at home. It makes sense that instead of fighting for regular playing time on a different team, he went to a place where he would be able to play every game and mentor young players and he did. He mentored Mattias Norlinder before he went off to play for Frölunda HC in the SHL next season.

Enstrom’s role early on with Atlanta and Winnipeg was to be a steadying presence beside Dustin Byfuglien. While Byfuglien could go on end to end rushes and make mistakes, Enstrom would sit back and cover for him. Yes, he might get bumped off the puck, but he usually would do something that would help the Jets. As time went on he might not have been as good as he once was, but he was better than what the Jets had at the time. When they rolled out a top four of Josh Morrissey, Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, and Enstrom they had one of the best groups in the league. Now they only have Morrissey.

Enstrom was an underdog when he came to the NHL. He left having never really been fully appreciated for his powers. But he was great.