Timothy Liljegren‘s time in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization has been a complete whirlwind, to say the least. Since being drafted 17th overall in the 2017 NHL draft, Liljegren has not had luck on his side. From having to deal with injuries to rough stretches during which he has struggled to produce, Timothy Liljegren is hoping for a smooth ride this year.
Expectations for Timothy Liljegren
Timothy Liljegren is still considered one of the Maple Leafs top prospects and proved that by making the Leafs out of training camp. Even though he didn’t play a single game, he showed Toronto’s brass his capabilities. If Liljegren hopes to play for the big club next year, here are some of the things he must accomplish with the Toronto Marlies this season.
Expand His Offensive Game
Liljegren is not really known for his offensive game but he can chip in the puck from time to time when needed. With Liljegren getting an expanded role in his third season with the Marlies, he will have more opportunities to put up points. He plays solid minutes every night and plays on the power-play. If Liljegren can add some offensive firepower to his game, it will only help his case when it comes to making an impression on the Leafs management.
Continue Working on Moving the Puck
While Liljegren is by no means a bad puck mover, he tends to give up the puck at key moments. Liljegren loves to hit forwards in stride through the neutral zone. Some of his passes are highlight-reel plays but others result in the play going the other way. If he can learn when the best option is to make the long stretch pass and when he should play it safe, moving the puck will become a helpful tool in his arsenal.
Liljegren’s biggest downfall is his inability to stay healthy. Every time he seems to be playing well and turning the next corner in his development, he gets injured. During the past two seasons, he has missed time due to a high ankle sprain and several minor injuries. If Liljegren can stay healthy for a full season, everyone believes he will flourish. No one can argue with his talent.
Future Top-Four Defenceman
If Liljegren keeps on developing and rounding out his game in the AHL, the Leafs will be very pleased. Even though some people think Liljegren is taking a long time to develop, he is just 20-years-old. The Leafs’ best option is to continue to stay patient with him and let him develop. If Liljegren hits his ceiling, the Leafs will have a very solid defenceman on their team for years to come.