With the 16th overall pick, the Calgary Flames have many names to choose from. Let’s look at a possible draft pick with D Timothy Liljegren.
We continue to look at possible draft options for the Calgary Flames since the options are almost endless. They have the 16th overall pick this year and they’ll either be looking to help with some problem areas on the team, or they’ll be trading that pick.
We won’t know for sure until Wednesday next week on draft day if they’re making a draft day trade (or maybe it’ll be earlier). But it could be another blockbuster trade – like they made two years ago with acquiring Dougie Hamilton for their first round pick and two second round picks. And boy did that turn out to really benefit the team seeing how Dougie was their top defence scorer last season and he’s easily becoming a top-ten defenceman in the league.
This off-season, the Flames have a bit of work to do and some things they need to address. Main priority: a starting goaltender. But they won’t get that from this year’s draft, so moving on. They also need a top-four defenceman and they need a couple of wingers.
We’ll be looking at one new player for a possible draft selection almost everyday. Last time, we looked at American forward Kailer Yamamoto. Today, let’s look at Swedish defenceman Timothy Liljegren (not going to lie, I still have trouble remembering how to spell his last name).
Who is Timothy Liljegren?
Name: Timothy Liljegren
Birth place: Kristianstad, Sweden
Height: 6’0” / 183 cm
Weight: 87 kg / 192 lbs
Team: Rögle BK
Stats from 2016-2017
Stats with Rogle BK, SHL, Regular Season (From eliteprospects.com):
Stats with Rogle BK J20, SuperElit, Regular Season (From eliteprospects.com):
- Round 13, 207th overall: Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL Entry Draft
Rankings for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
- #8 by ISS Hockey
- “Elite skater both in terms of speed & agility. Played well at 5-Nations, finishing 2nd in shots”
- #10 by Hockeyprospect.com
- #20 by McKeen’s Hockey
- #22 by Future Considerations
- #6 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek ranked him at 3rd overall in March, which is one spot lower than their previous rankings in January, claiming that “A strong Five Nations Tournament alleviated all fears that his game was slipping. For most teams he is the best defenceman in this year’s draft.
NHL.com’s Mike Morreale put him at 20th overall in January. Which funnily enough, at that point, it was projected that Flames would have the 20th pick so he would end up getting drafted by the Flames.
"Liljegren (6-0, 191) missed two months because of mononucleosis earlier in the season but is a solid prospect with great upside. He’s calm, smart and creative, and can move the puck with authority."
"An active, offensive-minded rearguard who likes the puck on his stick. Skates with strong fluidity and agility, getting from one point to the next effortlessly as his feet always seem to be in motion. Can take the puck end-to-end a la Erik Karlsson. His offensive IQ is off the charts as is his creativity. Makes strong breakout passes to move along the attack to his forwards before jumping into the play himself. Has a strong wrist shot that is quick off his blade, strong and accurate, and he gets some solid velocity on his slap shot […] Can be a high-risk, high-reward guy as he does take chances that can lead to turnovers here or there […] Projected as a top-pairing offensive NHL defenseman. (Future Considerations)."
Where does he fit in with the Flames?
Up until now, I always thought that if the Calgary Flames didn’t trade their first pick, they’d most likely draft a forward. But that’s only because of this year’s draft selection. It’s not as good as it’s been the last few seasons and the defence options aren’t that great.
That being said, Timothy Liljegren seems like he can be a top-four defenceman in a few years. With some pro experience, he can definitely break out. Between him and the one other defenceman I wrote a draft profile on, Callan Foote, I would go with Liljegren. Foote has height to his advantage but he also seems somewhat sluggish. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek said that Foote would be a safe pick, but that’s not exactly the aim a team would go for long-term.
Although the Flames need a top-four defenceman right now, Liljegren still seems like a solid pick in a couple of years. The Flames already have a few strong defence prospects and adding another one to that lineup wouldn’t hurt, especially in a few years if say Mark Giordano starts to slow down a little since he’s starting to get to that age where he’ll be past his prime.
Now, he did deal with illnesses this year which is why he isn’t super up there on a couple of those draft selections.
"“It wasn’t quite the season I had hoped for, but I think it will turn out useful for me in the long run,” Liljegren told David Carlsson of The Hockey Writers. “Mentally, I’ve just had to push through. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this kind of setback before.”He added: “We all have setbacks, but this has been the biggest one in my career. I still think I handled it well and kept calm in spite of what happened…I know I was high on the draft rankings before the season started, but I had to reconsider my expectations after a serious illness like that.”"
He also impressed scouts at the NHL Scouting Combine, which of course is a big plus, especially after the season he had.
"Liljegren was among the 104 participants at the 2017 Scouting Combine and all indications are that he performed well. He had the eighth-best score in the standing long jump drill with a score of 111.5 inches. He was also the only projected first rounder to finish in the top 25 for mean power output in the Wingate Cycle Ergometer test which would indicate that, just like Karlsson, his legs stay fresh late in games."
Alright, so that’s now the SECOND time he’s been compared to Erik Karlsson just in this draft profile. Not too bad of a comparison, hey? The Calgary Flames were one of the teams he also met with and had an interview with (of course, along with 27 other teams), but this kid still seems like a big possibility. That’s if another team doesn’t draft him ahead, which is also a big possibility.
And just for fun, let’s look at some of his highlights:
I’m still not sure if the Flames will be going with a forward or a defenceman yet in this year’s draft, but with Liljegren being one of the top defence prospects this year, he’s the best defence option for the Flames right now. However, if he gets drafted before that 16th overall pick, I’m confident the Flames will be picking a forward instead.