Toronto Maple Leafs: Travis Dermott excited about Timothy Liljegren’s development

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Travis Dermott
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Travis Dermott /

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott spoke about Kyle Dubas’ promotion and what he has seen from Timothy Liljegren in his first season.

As the Toronto Marlies prepare for the Calder Cup Final, Travis Dermott will most certainly use this time as valuable experience to bring back next seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He isn’t the only defenceman that will have the spotlight on him when the series opens up on Saturday as 2017 first rounder Timothy Liljegren will be a player to watch for many reasons. The 19-year-old was partnered with Dermott for part of the season before the 2015 draft pick was called up to play with the Leafs.

Back together again Dermott spoke to the media about the chance to play with Liljegren offering some thoughts on his development.

“He’s a great puck mover and good skater, so that makes it real easy for me,” Dermott said of Liljegren. “He’s really fun to play with. It’s easy to make great plays when you have a skilled player like that beside you. He’s an exciting player to watch, and going forward he’s going to have a really exciting career.”

As Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reports, the possibility of the young defencemen being paired together will likely have to wait a bit as there are still some areas the team hopes Liljegren can continue to develop.

"“He has just continued to make strides here,” Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe told McGran. “I don’t think his game right now is anywhere near where it’s going to be when he’s ready to be an NHL player. He’s finding his way.“What’s been nice is, he’s added defensive elements: the way he skates and his lateral mobility, the way he can anticipate plays. All those things we want him to do defensively — take away time and space, kill the rush early, make contact, all those types of things — he’s starting to do that really well."

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General manager Kyle Dubas will not have as much of an influence on Liljegren’s development next season with his new job running the Leafs.

Dermott played under Dubas with the Marlies and was on Sportsnet 590 the Fan’s Good Show to talk about what Dubas brings to the big club.

“He’s been there right from the start of my career here,” Travis explained about Dubas’ influence on his career. “He’s been great for me and definitely looked after me and would always have open ears and seeing the opportunity he’s getting moving forward is going to be huge for the organization, things are looking up for sure.”

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Dermott will likely play a big role going forward with the Leafs and the Calder Cup Final will be a good opportunity to show how promising things can eventually be going forward.