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Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

NHL History: Toronto Maple Leafs draft Timothy Liljegren

It was three years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted defenceman Timothy Liljegren.

Taken in the 1st round, he came to North America right away and has seen most of his time spent with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

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And there, his game has begun to blossom. In 127 games he’s scored nine goals and 62 points. This past season, he got his first stint in the NHL playing 11 games scoring one assist.

The 2019-20 campaign was truly the breakout season. In 40 games, he notched 25 assists and 30 points in only 40 games and it’s a great sign of what’s to come for Toronto.

And come whenever the 2020-21 season gets underway, Liljegren will be given every chance to make it in the NHL.

Marlies GM Laurence Gilman gave him a glowing review in May:

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“I believe Timothy Liljegren is ready to become an NHL player, whatever level that’s going to be. I will be surprised if he doesn’t play in the top seven or eight with the Toronto Maple Leafs next year — but he’s gotta hold up his end of the bargain.

“I’m very fond of Timothy Liljegren, both as a person and as a hockey player. I really felt his game took a tremendous step this season. He obviously has good puck skills, he transports the puck very well, he skates very well, he has a good shot… but the greatest impact was how he processed the game. How he thought it. His decision-making.”

As one of the few right-shot rearguard in the system, he may be a guy that could step in and help replace the potential loss of Tyson Barrie or Cody Ceci.

On Twitter: @zjlaing