Mid-Season Grades For the Toronto Maple Leafs Defense

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages
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Timothy Liljegren

Last season, Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin shared the title of “most promising young Leafs defenseman”, until Sandin was dealt to the Washington Capitals.  Liljegren now carries that moniker precariously on his shoulders.

Still just 24 years old, Liljegren continues to show flashes of being a potential top pairing D, but so far he’s been unable to consistently elevate his game to that level.  Part of that may be due to him missing 17 games earlier this year with an ankle injury, the result of a controversial hit from public enemy #1 Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins.

Since his return to play, his statistics indicate he’s been the “best of the rest” when it comes to Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen.  Morgen Rielly has the best D numbers on the team by far, but Liljegren is ahead of all the others, with a 49.17 CF% and a 51.94 XGF%.

Also, Liljegren is one of the few Toronto D who can skate effectively with the puck, find the open forward with breakout passes, and do a decent job of quarterbacking a powerplay.


Liljegren will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.  As the only right shooting regular defender on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, and someone with untapped potential upside, the Leafs will undoubtedly re-sign Liljegran.  His play over the remainder of the season will determine the length and amount of his new contract.

Grade: B