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Leafs sign Timothy Liljegren to entry-level contract

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He is the right-shot, puck-moving defenseman we are looking for. Or at least the Marlies are looking for.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Wasting no time, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their first-round pick from the 2017 draft, Timothy Liljegren, to his three-year ELC.

Contract details:

Which is not as high in bonuses as say, a top ten pick, but it’s about what is usual for a pick at Liljegren’s level.

Earlier today, the site engaged in some interesting discussion after various people mentioned that Liljegren would be playing somewhere this coming season, but definitely not the OHL.

...Much to Seldo’s disappointment.

In the words of Katya earlier today, from her article asking us all where Liljegren might play, she mentioned that the Marlies depth chart would welcome a right-hand defender like him.

Would he [slot into] the AHL?

On the Marlies, the depth chart of players, all of them older than Liljegren, looks like this:

Left side

Andrew Nielsen

Calle Rosén

Rinat Valiev

Andreas Borgman

Travis Dermott

Right side

Vincent LoVerde

Justin Holl

That’s a lot of bodies, but it’s not a lot of righties, although Alexey Marchenko seems to be surplus on the Leafs, so he might show up there. It still might be eight other guys to fight for ice time.

The Leafs obviously agreed. We will see Liljegren take the ice next from Friday September 16th to Sunday September 18th at the Gale Centre arena complex for Maple Leafs training camp. (I see your item number 5, Seldo.)

[Achariya adds:]

As the managing editor of a rival site, I remain incredibly jealous of your acquisition of Liljegren, and I fear what he will be like in the North division facing off against the Syracuse Crunch. There is the distinct possibility that Liljegren will match up against 19-year-old Russian defender Mikhail Sergachev, who is going to try his hardest to make the Lightning out of camp at the end of summer.

In our scouting report on Liljegren over at Raw Charge, I wrote:

Liljegren, once ranked by TSN at second overall, spent last season plagued by health issues. He contracted mononucleosis, came back to play "too quickly" (in his words), and had to take another month off before he could play again. Even with his struggles, he had five points in 19 games in the SHL. Among players under 18 in the SHL, that put him 4th in points, but first in points per game. Only the aforementioned Erik Brannstrom was ahead of him in points for U18 defensemen.

To give his performance perspective, in Victor Hedman’s U18 season in the SHL, he had four points in 39 games. Due to Hedman’s December birthday, compared to Liljegren’s April birthday, Hedman did have another season in the SHL before being drafted, and put up 21 points in 43 games. Erik Karlsson has a similar birthday as Liljegren. When Karlsson was a U18 player, he only played in thirteen SHL games between the regular season and playoffs, and only had one point.

It’ll be difficult and painful for me to watch a healthy Liljegren tear up the AHL next season.