Timothy Liljegren of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Timothy Liljegren of the Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 19: Timothy Liljegren #37 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the St. Louis Blues during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 19, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs agree to sign pending free-agent defenseman Timothy Liljegreen to a contract extension on June 30, extending him a qualifying offer before free agency.

There is still a chance, however, that Toronto trades Liljegren in a move during the remainder of the offseason. TSN’s Chris Johnston believes a trade cannot be ruled out even if the player just signed a new contract.

“They are still going to sign some more sort of depth-type players here in free agency. We’ll see how the [Nick] Robertson situation manifests itself. We’ll see if Timothy Liljegren maybe still get traded,” Johnston said on the July 1 episode of The Chris Johnston Show. “I know he was signed to a two-year extension but I don’t think you can entirely rule out a trade in his circumstance yet. They’re still going to keep chipping away at the roster.”

Liljegren completed a two-year, $2.8 million deal in 2024 and there were reports about a potential trade being in the works throughout the NHL draft. It didn’t happen, with the defenseman inking a new two-year, $6 million contract.

Johnston doubled down on his initial report about a potential Liljegren trade on an episode released on July 4.

“They would look at moving Kampf, Jarnkrok, or Timothy Liljegren in the right deal. I should be very clear, that is not to say they are trying to get rid of them at all costs, but I think that because of the Leafs’ salary cap, they are pretty tight up against it. Really, at this point of the off-season, they blueline looks different, obviously made the moves in net. But, I think they will have to get creative to address any changes they want to make at forward,” Johnston said.

Maple Leafs Leaving the Door Open for a Liljegren Trade

It’s been quite an eventful few weeks for Liljegreen sandwiching the start of free agency on July 1.

In a story published by Joshua Kloke of The Athletic on June 12, the author reported a lack of discussions between Liljegren and the Maple Leafs between the end of the regular season and the date of publication.

“It sounds like there hasn’t been much dialogue between the Leafs and Liljegren’s camp over his next contract,” Kloke wrote. “The Leafs are likely waiting to see how free agency unfolds. Once they know what kind of pieces they can add, they’ll be able to decide where Liljegren fits in their lineup.”

The Maple Leafs have signed Timothy Liljegren to a two-year, $6M extension, per @FriedgeHNIC.

One day before the start of free agency, on June 30, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Liljegren’s two-year extension. The Maple Leafs organization officially announced they had extended a qualifying offer to Liljegren shortly after Friedman’s report.

The @MapleLeafs have extended qualifying offers to Nick Robertson, Alex Steeves, Conor Dewar and Timothy Liljegren. 

The club did not extend a qualifying offer to Noah Gregor.

As reported by Jonas Siegel of The Athletic on June 30, however, Liljegren’s new contract doesn’t have any trade protection, keeping the rumors of a potential trade alive.

“Liljegren’s new contract has zero no-trade protection, according to the source. The Brad Treliving front office isn’t exactly enamored with Liljegren, not yet anyway,” Siegel reported.

Liljegren Hopes to Stay Put in Toronto

The Maple Leafs drafted Liljegren with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft. He has played 196 games for the franchise scoring 65 points, including 14 goals and 51 assists. Liljegren has also appeared in 13 postseason games through 2024.

The Maple Leafs made Liljegren available to talk to reporters in a video call after July 1 when his new contract with the organization became official. He said he’d hope to keep playing hockey in Toronto after signing his extension.

“I feel good. Toronto was always the place I wanted to be, and I’m happy we got it done. It was pretty easy talking with Toronto,” Liljegren said. “I feel I took some big steps last year and kind of got derailed a little bit because of my injuries. A little bit unlucky with two big ones that cost me some games. But I still took strides in my game offensively.”

Liljegren scored 3 goals and assisted 20 for 23 total points in 55 games for the Maple Leafs in the 2023-24 season. He added 1 point (an assist) in six postseason contests.

The defenseman posted or tied his career-high marks in points (23), assists (20), average time on ice (19:40), and blocked shots (116) during the 2024 campaign.

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for Heavy.com. A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada

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