Timothy Liljegren was Touted to be a Top Player in His Draft Year, but has he Lived up to the Hype?
With the 17th pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs Drafted Timothy Liljegren. Prior to the draft, Liljegren was projected to go in the top 3.
But, with the smooth-skating swede getting mononucleosis in his draft year and never really getting to the level that he was before, he dropped a lot in the eyes of the scouts even though the talent was still there, the Toronto Maple Leafs decided that he fell right into their hands and they scooped him up.
The 6’0 190lbs pound swede is exactly what Dubas envisions with his defencemen. Smooth skating, and being able to move the puck.
Trade or Keep Timothy Liljegren
Thus far, Liljegren has spent most of his developing with the Toronto Marlies and has only made 11 starts with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. He has only put up 1 assist and a terrible 43% Corsi, but there will always be a learning curve for defensemen once they make the jump.
However, with the Marlies, he has managed to put up 5 goals and 30 points in 40 contests.
The talent is definitely there in regards to his offensive play, but it is his defense that still needs to be fine-tuned in order to be a force to be reckoned with. He may never be a top-pairing defenseman, but top 4 is not out of the question especially with him still being so young at 20 years old.
The question is does Dubas an co. believe that he has a future on the team, or can he be used in a package to improve the team?
It is hard to judge what his ceiling really is as he has not had much NHL game time. Dubas believes in growing the team from within, so it will be a matter of time until Liljegren is playing full-time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Or will he?
The Toronto Maple Leafs could use a top 4 RHD – one of Sandin or Dermott will have to play the left side, and there is Justin Holl, but assuming Tyson Barrie and Codi Ceci leave, the team will have to decide if they want to give remaining job to Liljegren or trade him for a more experienced player to fill it.
Alex Pietrangelo ticks every box that the Leafs have on their list, but does he want to come to the Leafs, or can the Toronto Maple Leafs even fit him under the salary cap?
If not, a package headlined around Liljegren would surely get you a solid player, the only question is if it is worth it knowing that there is untapped potential in Liljegren.