In the 2017 SB Nation Mock Draft the Arizona Coyotes select Timothy Liljegren of Rögle BK from the Swedish Hockey League.
Is anyone really surprised? A skilled, Swedish defenseman who plays right side? Sign us up!
Recently, Paul Wheeler wrote a fantastic overview of Liljegren. Allow me to quote a bit from his article on the pros and cons of our pick (angels and demons in Paul’s words).
Rogle BK's Timothy Liljegren is 17 years old. He is a 6 foot, 190lb native of Kristianstad, Sweden, and he is one of the most intriguing prospects by far of this year's draft class. This is because, as Brand New had it, ‘he plays like God and the Devil are raging inside him.’
Let me explain. First, the angels. Liljegren has feet that, as Paul Quarrington put it in King Leary, allow him to dance across the frozen icebelly of the world. His skating is peerless - fast, smooth, and with lateral motion that is only a half-stride from teleportation. He is a confident, skilled player who loves to take the puck on his stick in a way that few forwards do, never mind defencemen.
If there's a player in the NHL he's most worthy of comparison to, it's Erik Karlsson, and that's probably his ceiling as a player. It is also not an overblown comparison.
There are few players in this draft who move the puck with as much authority, as much ease, and as much confidence as he does. When he makes a play, it is with the vision and authority of a player who's been doing it for years.
The trouble is, when the demons inside Liljegren come out to play, they set him back down in defensive hell.
You see, there's a fine line between confident and cocky, and one of the biggest knocks on Liljegren is that he gets caught trying to make the fancy play far too often for an NHL-calibre defenseman. The fancy pass up the middle that gets intercepted, with a winger already posted up on the boards. The end-to-end rush that leaves him out of position. The pinch in that leaves a gaping hole for opposition forwards to breakaway.
Does this description remind you of a certain Swede who has grown into his game recently?
You can read the whole profile here, please do so, it gives a wonderful look at Liljegren.
Liljegren has the potential to be the type of player to play the right side with the likes of Cam Dineen or Jakob Chychrun for a long time. He reminds me of Erik Karlsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson rolled into one.
The Coyotes would be bolstering their right-handed depth with this pick, something that they are looking to do.
Plus, who wouldn’t want to watch this wrist shot all day, every day?
He went from being THE number two, to sliding down in the draft rankings because he was sick for quite a while with Mono this season. The Coyotes tend to make great picks when certain, once-highly-ranked defenseman fall.
What does it mean roster wise?
If they Coyotes do select Liljegren, he would most likely be finishing out his contract with Rögle BK before coming to North America. This could do well for his development as he is playing in the Men’s division of the SHL, unless he has a good showing at camp like Jakob Chychrun and steals someone’s job his rookie year.
Liljegren would add more depth to the right side on defense, something that the Coyotes have been looking to do for the last season or so. Liljegren isn’t going to be a quick fix, but he could a long term plan.
With that, the Buffalo Sabres are now on the board!
What do you think of our pick?
What do you think of the Liljegren pick?
This poll is closed
He won’t be there at 7....
ANOTHER Swedish Defenseman?
WHY NOT A FORWARD THO
Give me those silky skills anytime