It was announced on Wednesday that the Toronto Maple Leafs have brought first-round draft selection Timothy Liljegren on board with the organization, inking him to a three-year, entry-level deal with the club just a month after the team picked him up.
A native of Kristianstad, Sweden, Liljegren was a controversial selection at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, falling to the Leafs at 17th overall despite getting ranked as highly as eighth in various prospect projections.
The offensive-minded defenseman skated for the SHL’s Rogle BK during his draft-eligible campaign, racking up a goal and five points in 19 games for the top-tier team in Sweden.
He was also good for seven points in 12 games for Rogle’s U20 roster, though, and earned the distinction of alternate captain for Sweden’s U18 roster at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament during the season.
There’s a chance that the blue liner will make his way to North America next season now that he’s on an entry-level deal, but it has been confirmed that it will only be to join the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Despite having his major junior rights held by the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, the young defenseman will either skate at the pro level in Canada or back home in Sweden; there isn’t a chance that he’ll opt for junior hockey instead.
Whether he stays in Europe or gets to appear for the Marlies, though, the Leafs already inking Liljegren is a clear sign that the club is excited about his prospects in the future.