Maple Leafs prospect defenseman Timothy Liljegren has been ruled out of participating in the World Juniors, the team announced (Twitter link). He suffered a high ankle sprain at the beginning of the month with Toronto’s AHL affiliate and is currently classified as being out week-to-week.
Liljegren, Toronto’s first-round pick (17th overall) back in 2017, is in his second season with the Marlies and was off to a strong start before suffering the injury. He currently has eight points (2-6-8) in 19 games after collecting 17 (1-16-17) in 44 contests last year. This would have been his second time in this tournament after playing a regular role last year.
This is a tough blow for a Sweden back end that’s projected to be their strength. However, they still have quite a few first rounders on their defense corps in Adam Boqvist (Blackhawks), Erik Brannstrom (Golden Knights), Rasmus Sandin (Maple Leafs), and Nils Lundkvist (Rangers) while projected 2019 first rounder Philip Broberg is also in the mix for a spot. Sweden still has to cut one more defender before they finalize their roster for the tournament which gets underway on Wednesday against Finland.