Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D Timothy Liljegren

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Under the microscope today: Swedish defenceman Timothy Liljegren.

Name: Timothy Liljegren

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

Birthdate: 1999-04-30

Height, weight: 6’0”, 192 lbs

Team, league: Rögle BK, SHL

Stats (from 







#8 by
#6 by ISS Hockey
#7 by Future Considerations
#8 by McKeen’s Hockey
#6 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 3.5/5, 5/5

NHL-potential: Top-pairing defenceman

Draft Range: Top 20

Scouting report

"An active, offensive-minded rearguard who likes the puck on his stick…skates with strong fluidity and agility, getting from one point to the next effortlessly as his feet always seem to be in motion…can take the puck end-to-end a la Erik Karlsson…his offensive IQ is off the charts as is his creativity…makes strong breakout passes to move along the attack to his forwards before jumping into the play himself…has a strong wrist shot that is quick off his blade, strong and accurate, and he gets some solid velocity on his slap shot…continually reading the play and moving as he tries to be in strong position to contribute as an option when not in possession of the puck himself…can be a high-risk, high-reward guy as he does take chances that can lead to turnovers here or there…a game-breaker…projected as a top-pairing offensive NHL defenseman. (Future Considerations, November 2016)"


Timothy Liljegren is a curious case. While some praise him for his high-end hockey I.Q., others call it his biggest weakness. So let’s focus on the things everyone agrees on.

More from Draft

First off, Liljegren is an excellent skater. He has solid speed along with impressive edge work and elite agility. Skating regularly prevents highly skilled players from being first-round picks, but it is the last thing scouts need to worry about when they look at Liljegren. A flawless skater with solid size.

In addition, Liljegren is a great puck-mover. He has quick, smooth hands that, along with his skating, allow him to carry the puck out of pressure. When he gets the puck in the defensive end, he is exactly what NHL coaches covet: a mobile, puck-moving player.

Liljegren also looks great in the defensive end. He has been playing professionally for most of the season and didn’t struggle physically. Liljegren’s positional play and strength allow him to play a really solid defensive game.


This is where we get back to hockey sense. Liljegren has good defensive awareness and positions himself well. But when it comes to making decisions with the puck, things can get dangerous.

The No. 1 issue scouts complain about is the frequency of turnovers. Liljegren tries to make things happen when he gets the puck, and he clearly has the raw skill to do it, but he often fails. He fails to find open lanes and he fails to get past opponents.

And although he has clearly proven defensive capabilities, he sometimes neglects those in attempts to do some ‘offensive magic’. So, at this point, nobody really knows what he is. Liljegren could be a two-way guy, a purely offensive player or a stay-at-home guy who gets the puck out of the D-zone but doesn’t produce much offence. You simply don’t know.

Final Thoughts

The Canucks want a playmaking centre and an offensive defenceman. So at their final scouting meeting of the season, I am sure there will be a long — and I mean looooooong — discussion about Liljegren. About what he once was before he missed time with mononucleosis, what he is now, what he can be, what he is likely to become and whether that is what the Canucks want.

Going into the year, Liljegren seemed to be the only player good enough to challenge Nolan Patrick for the No. 1 spot. He got called the next Erik Karlsson and more. But at this point, you hear scouts saying they wouldn’t even touch Liljegren in the first round. The story is quite similar to that of Calgary Flames prospect Oliver Kylington last season, as he started the year as a potential top-10 pick and eventually dropped to 60th overall.

I fully expect Liljegren to be gone by pick 20, though; probably even in the 10-to-15 range, because of the high-end skillset he brings to the table. His raw skills and frame are simply too good to pass up on when you are picking 20th or lower.

Next: 2017 Draft Profile Overview

But, hockey sense can make or break a prospect no matter how well he skates or how skilled he is. And if the Canucks don’t trust his hockey sense, they won’t use a pick on Liljegren — it’s that easy. It’s a high-risk pick the higher he’s chosen, but it’s one that could pay off mightily a few years from now.