Toronto Maple Leafs send Liljegren down to ECHL for conditioning stint

Timothy Liljegren #37 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Timothy Liljegren #37 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

According to reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent defenceman Timothy Liljegren down to the Newfoundland Growlers for a conditioning stint.

Per CBS Sports, Timothy Liljegren has been sent down to the ECHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs after being sidelined for almost two months with an ankle injury.

According to the report, the Leafs’ first-round (17th overall) selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will feature in the Growlers’ road game against the Maine Mariners on Wednesday night, before returning to the team’s AHL affiliates, the Toronto Marlies.

The talented defenceman has been out of action since Dec. 1 and missed out on featuring for his country at the World Junior Championships – with Sweden being knocked out of the tournament by Switzerland in the Quarter Finals during his absence.

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The Swedish team no doubt would have benefited from having a healthy Liljegren in the line-up, alongside fellow Marlies teammate and blue-liner Rasmus Sandin.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs organisation, the move to have Liljegren get some valuable minutes in the ECHL is a smart decision – with the 19-year-old needing to build up his fitness after such a long time out.

The Marlies have had some injury issues this season, with fellow Swede Andreas Borgman also having been sidelined with a concussion since Dec. 19 – leaving the AHL club without two of their main defensive features.

If Liljegren can leave the Growlers’ game against the Mariners unscathed, that will be a huge boost for the team and could potentially see the 6 foot, 192 pounds right-hander make his return this weekend against the Chicago Wolves.

Prior to his injury, Liljegren had two goals and eight total points in 19 appearances with the Marlies and had been getting regular top-four minutes, helping to push him closer towards realising his NHL dreams with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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What do you think of this news? Are you pleased to see Liljegren return to action? Are you pleased he will be eased back into things with the Growlers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.