As the Toronto Maple Leafs look to the future of the organization, several young players stand out. In this post, I’ll look at two of them and discuss a number of their positive characteristics.
Related: Maple Leafs Don’t Need to Follow the Raptors’ Example
Quick Hit One: Bobby McMann Shines at the AHL Level
The Toronto Marlies played the Laval Rocket two times in two days (Friday and Saturday). In Friday’s first game, the Marlies won handily by a score of 4-1. But in the second half of the back-to-back, they lost to the Rocket for the first time this season.
The final score was 7 to 3. It was not a strong performance for Toronto in the game. They fell behind by three goals in the first period; and, they never recovered.
However, Bobby McMann had a strong game. He scored a pair of goals in the game, bringing his point total to 10 goals and seven assists (for 17 points) in 19 games this season. He has also been playing well lately, with seven goals in his last seven AHL games.
Two aspects McMann has been showing more and more are his speed and power. On one of the goals, he simply out-powered and out-skated his opponent to put home a rebound.
Related: Alex Steeves Wants to Play for Maple Leafs, But Marlies Are Great
Quick Hit Two: Hats Off to Timothy Liljegren on His Great Season
Timothy Liljegren has had nothing short of a great season so far. A healthy scratch in last year’s postseason, he’s burst out of the pack to show strong development as a defenseman. He’s now become a regular in the team’s top-four defensive pairings and is averaging a career-high 18:43 of TOI (time on ice) per game.
Liljegren has contributed four goals and nine assists (for 13 points) in his 41 games played. In addition, he’s been engaged physically. He has collected 22 penalty minutes with a rating of plus-19. His offensive skills are growing and his hockey IQ is off the charts.
Liljegren has become more than competent; he’s become an impactful two-way defenseman. Given these advances in his play, does he deserve more time on the power-play units? It should be interesting to see how his head coach Sheldon Keefe decides to deploy him.
In a perfect world, both Liljegren and his partner Rasmus Sandin might have been better served with more sheltered minutes. For example, the hard forechecking of the Boston Bruins made life difficult for both of them in last Wednesday’s game. That hasn’t been possible this season.
One thing Maple Leafs’ fans can be pretty sure of is that neither Liljegren nor Sandin are moving anywhere in a trade at the deadline – regardless of who comes back. Unless something explosive happens, which seems unlikely, both these two youngsters are destined to remain with the Maple Leafs for at least the near future.
Related: Maple Leafs Random Thoughts: Woll, Dubas & Areas to Improve
Leave a Reply
NHL News/ 2 days ago
Insider Talks Why Miller Trade Fell Apart, If Canucks Will Try Again
There was chatter just ahead of the trade deadline that the Canucks might try...
NHL News/ 6 days ago
Capitals Sign Trevor van Riemsdyk to a 3-Year Contract Extension
The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a three-year contract extension.
NHL News/ 7 days ago
Chuck Fletcher Fired by Flyers, Daniel Briere Takes Over
Chuck Fletcher has been fired as the Philadelphia Flyers GM and President, with Daniel...
NHL News/ 1 week ago
Oilers Looked at Chychrun and Gudas Before Pivoting to Ekholm
The Edmonton Oilers had a number of hooks in the water during trade deadline...
NHL News/ 1 week ago
Maple Leafs Put O’Reilly on LTIR; Tavares Day-to-Day
The Toronto Maple Leafs lost not one, but two centers in a deflating loss...
Canucks Could Still Move Miller, Boeser, Myers, & Ekman-Larsson
The Vancouver Canucks could revisit the idea of trading some of the team's biggest...
James van Riemsdyk Not Traded Despite Red Wings Rumors
James van Riemsdyk was not traded despite last-minute rumors that he was going to...
Penguins Trade for Dmitry Kulikov from the Anaheim Ducks
The Pittsburgh Penguins are sending Brock McGinn and a 3rd-round pick to Anaheim Ducks...
What’s Happening with a Possible Joel Edmundson Trade
NHL trade talk rumors continue to surround Joel Edmundson. Will health concerns be the...
NHL News/ 3 weeks ago
Canucks Trade Lockwood & Pick for Vitali Kravtsov From Rangers
The Vancouver Canucks trade for F Vitali Kravtsov from the New York Rangers in...
February 7, 2023 at 4:11 am
Jim – Sandin should be moved like yesterday before his skills gap become apparent to the rest of the league.
February 7, 2023 at 5:00 am
Liljegren is good, not great, and the Leafs have been lacking a true 1RHD for what seems like decades.
While it is unlikely that either of the two Swedish defenders get moved, Kyle Dubas wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t entertain any offers that would improve the team and help them go deep in the playoffs this year.
Go Leafs Go.
February 7, 2023 at 7:46 am
Liljegren was a star offensive defenseman when he was drafted. If he hadn’t got mono, he was scheduled to go very early in the first round. He fell to the point where the Leafs got him luckily. For the past 2 or 3 years, his focus has been defense in order to make him a great all-round defenseman. Under the hood though, he has great offensive skills that we will see more and more as he gets comfortable in the NHL.
Pingback: Five Keys for Maple Leafs’ Postseason Success – Hockey 1 on 1
Pingback: Five keys to the Maple Leafs' postseason success - sposnews
Pingback: Does Garland for Engvall Make Sense for the Maple Leafs?
Pingback: Does Garland for Engvall Make Sense for the Maple Leafs? – Dondastic