The Runner Sports

Welcome To The Toronto Maple Leafs Timothy Liljegren

With their first-round pick, 17th overall, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Swedish defenseman Timothy Liljegren in the 2017 NHL Draft.

At the start of his season last year, Liljegren contracted Mono, which took him out for eight weeks. He was selected for the Swedish Junior team, but was still too sick to play in the tournament. Liljegren said he didn’t feel like himself until mid-January.

Many experts and analysts had Liljegren as a top 10 pick before his diagnosis, but since he couldn’t play all that much this year, he dropped to 17th when the Maple Leafs scooped him up in the first round. Some say that this is a steal for the Maple Leafs, but others are wary of how his health will affect his development during the summer before training camp starts up in September.

Liljegren is a right-handed offensive defenseman who can move the puck around and can blast pucks on net from the blueline. There are some concerns with his positioning when he doesn’t have the puck and he sometimes reads the play wrong or gets lost in the action. This is something Mike Babcock and company will need to address with him over the summer, but it seems that it can be easily fixed.

If his sickness is truly behind him and he takes most of the summer to train, he will have a good shot at making the Maple Leafs out of training camp as they are starving for good right-handed defensemen. If he continues to progress with his development, Liljegren could have the potential to be a top-4 defender in this club of young studs who continue to journey towards a long Stanley Cup playoff run.

What do you think of this pick? Do you think Liljegren has a chance at making the club next season? Let me know in the comments!