Although the Maple Leafs have yet to decide where 2017 first rounder Timothy Liljegren will play this coming season, a return to Rogle BK in Sweden appears unlikely, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. As he was a first rounder and has already signed his entry-level deal, Toronto gets to decide where to assign him even though Liljegren has another year on his contract in Sweden after signing a two-year extension back in March of 2016.
There are several options for the Maple Leafs to mull over assuming the blueliner doesn’t crack the NHL roster right away (which he’s not likely to do). Since he wasn’t drafted out of the CHL, he is eligible to play for the AHL’s Marlies even though he’s just 18. Liljegren’s rights have also been acquired in the CHL (Niagara) and the USHL (Dubuque). Or, they could loan him back to Sweden where he’d likely spend time in the SHL and their J20 program. However, the most likely outcome at this point would be to start in the AHL where the team could have full control over his ice time and can ease him in at their own pace. If that were to happen, his contract would still slide unless he gets into ten or more games with the big club.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- Although contract talks don’t appear to be progressing well between the Red Wings and RFA winger Andreas Athanasiou, MLive’s Ansar Khan cautions that the team would likely match any offer sheet thrown his way. With the current offer sheet compensation, an offer as high as $3.925MM would only see Detroit pick up a second round pick if they declined to match and presumably, they could get that return in a trade without the threat of Athanasiou signing an RFA deal elsewhere. Khan suspects that no team would be willing to go that high on an offer sheet anyway since he has just 101 games of NHL experience under his belt.
- The Senators offered center Chris Kelly a training camp tryout but he declined, reports Postmedia’s Don Brennan. The 36-year-old played in all 82 regular season games last year for Ottawa but he elected to take a PTO with the Oilers instead earlier today. Brennan adds that Ottawa is still looking to bring in a couple of forwards on tryouts for training camp.