Looking ahead to the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, it’s fair to suggest that the Toronto Maple Leafs would need a little luck to nab Liam Öhgren.
However, he is absolutely the ideal player for the Toronto Maple Leafs to be adding, combining a positional need with a bit more size than a lot of the team’s current wingers.
Bob McKenzie has him placed at 21st on his final rankings, so a slide four places seems believable but relies on a couple of off-the-board choices among the first 20.
Picking up Liam Öhgren at 25th overall would have potential to be an steal for the Leafs in the long-run. (Stats eliteprospects.com).
Why Would Liam Öhgren be a Good Pick-Up For the Toronto Maple Leafs?
First and foremost, he is listed at 6′ 1″ and weighs in at 201lbs, which is considerable given his age should allow for further muscle development.
For comparison sake, Auston Matthews weighed in at 205lbs last year while Michael Bunting, at the same height as Öhgren, was 186lbs.
Beyond just size though, it’s the similarities that scouts draw to Zach Hyman that really stand out. If the Toronto Maple Leafs can acquire a young Swedish version on a very cap-friendly deal, that’s huge.
Reading various scouting reports and watching clips of Öhgren’s play, it’s clear why such comparisons have been made.
He has that two-way element to his game and looks to complement his line-mates rather than necessarily driving; he also has quite the knack for hunting down the puck on the fore-check.
This skillset alone stands out when you look at young prospects.
When you look to some of the key needs in the Toronto Maple Leafs line-up, it’s that feisty fore-checking that keeps things moving in the offensive zone.
You’d also hope that with the imminent departure of Ilya Mikheyev, picking Öhgren would eventually help plug a hole on the penalty-kill which thrives on creating that sort of fore-checking pressure.
From the few clips I’ve seen, he certainly already plays a style that would blend well with the style the Toronto Maple Leafs play.
Even something as simple as drawing the defense in tight before making the play – he plays a game complimentary to the Leafs’ style.
Moving for Ôhgren isn’t necessarily a move about offense, but rather about moving on a player that looks ready to adapt to the NHL and provide three years in the line-up at entry-level price.
Of course, getting Öhgren is going to require some draft day luck but here’s hoping.