One of the top prospects for the upcoming 2017 Entry Draft, Timothy Liljegren has made it clear to both Mike Morreale and Adam Kimelman of NHL.com that he expects to play next season in Sweden for his club in the SHL. He has one more year on his contract there, after which he would be free to come to North America and join the professional ranks of whichever team selects him.
Once ranked among the very top of the draft board, Liljegren has slid down in recent months after battling mononucleosis and inconsistency this season. While Miro Heiskanen and perhaps Cale Makar have passed him among defensemen, he is still likely to go in the top half of the first round. Most prospects that are drafted outside of the top few selections return to their junior teams the next year, and Liljegren will be no different. Lilejgren actually spent some of the season with Timra in the Swedish second league this year, unable to lock down consistent minutes on Rogle his SHL team. Hopefully next season he’ll be able to log more minutes and continue his development a the top level.
In similar news, Klim Kostin the top-ranked skater in the International class, will do the opposite. According to Joe Yerdon of NHL.com Kostin will come to North America next season where he would have several options. An NHL team could assign him to the AHL if they can get him to sign an entry-level deal right away, or he could head to the CHL where the Kootenay Ice hold his rights. Kostin told Yerdon he will “never go there” in regards to Kootenay, though obviously things could change.