Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports

Is Timothy Liljegren's promotion a legitimate opportunity or a showcase for a trade?

Published February 13, 2024 at 10:20

With the knowledge that every defenseman on the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to step up in Morgan Rielly's absence, one blueliner is set to receive a substantial increase in playing time while being given a much bigger role.

Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren is expected to be paired up with veteran blueliner T.J. Brodie as the top pairing for their Tuesday night matchup hosting St. Louis. This will allow Brodie to shift towards the left side, his natural side. Shifting Liljegren to the top pair, their second pairing of Simon Benoit and Jake McCabe can stay together as the two will likely receive a huge boost in minutes as well.

This is an interesting move overall, because many could speculate that the more logical move would be to have Jake McCabe and T.J. Brodie as a top pair while giving the younger defensemen and 40-year-old Mark Giordano easier matchups. Perhaps bumping Liljegren up has more to do with giving their young Swedish blueliner a look on the top pairing to see if he can handle the pressure or perhaps the Leafs are showcasing Liljegren as a potential trade piece for one of their upcoming moves around the trade deadline. It's certainly an interesting thought.

Regardless of what Toronto plans to do with their young Swedish defender, Timothy Liljegren is here now and the Maple Leafs will need every player on their blueline to take on a lot more as the loss of Morgan Rielly for what will likely be over 5 games is going to require players at their best while seeing increased time on ice in bigger roles.
February 13   |   674 answers
Is Timothy Liljegren's promotion a legitimate opportunity or a showcase for a trade?

Would you keep or trade Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren?

Trade, he hasn't reached his potential yet27440.7 %
Keep, he's still young and developing40059.3 %
Latest 10 stories