Toronto Maple Leafs newly acquired defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports

Sheldon Keefe reveals when Lyubushkin may make his season debut with the Leafs

Published March 2, 2024 at 9:00

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe stated to the media on Friday afternoon that he still has a handful of roster decisions to be made and finalized on Saturday ahead of a tough matchup against the New York Rangers, who sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 40 wins.

A few of these main decisions that still need to be made ahead of Saturday night are the availability of forward Calle Järnkrok, and both defensemen Timothy Liljegren and newcomer Ilya Lyubushkin.

Lyubushkin and the Maple Leafs are hoping he doesn't run into any visa issues after arriving in Toronto late last night. If all goes according to plan, the newly acquired rugged right-hand defenseman will more than likely make his season debut with Toronto tonight!

The Maple Leafs are also waiting to see if Liljegren will be in or out of the lineup on Saturday night against the Rangers. The Swedish defenseman missed practice Friday and has been dealing with a minor undisclosed injury that has held him out of the last two games. If Liljegren is unavailable, this will allow William Lagesson an opportunity to stay in the lineup until further notice with the likes of Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins both also currently unavailable and on injured reserve.

If all four defensemen listed above are unavailable Saturday night, the Maple Leafs will be forced to make an emergency call-up which will likely be depth defenseman Maxime Lajoie.

Finally, some positive news on Calle Järnkrok, as he was a full participant in Friday's practice and may be an option Saturday night. Keefe will have a further update Saturday afternoon on the versatile forward. If Järnkrok is good to go, the Leafs may have to place someone on waivers. It should be an exciting and eventful day for the Leafs ahead of tonight's game.
March 2   |   516 answers
Sheldon Keefe reveals when Lyubushkin may make his season debut with the Leafs

If Ilya Lyubushkin is the Leafs' only addition, will you be upset?

Yes, they need another D35669 %
No, they will have added someone at least10620.5 %
I won't know until after the playoffs5410.5 %
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