A young rookie has caught a very tough break and it may turn out to be a tough break for the Toronto Maple Leafs as well.
It's been a very rough month for 19 year old Toronto Maple Leafs hopeful Timothy Liljegren and unfortunately the comments made by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas earlier today will almost assuredly add to his despair. Liljegren was set to make his second consecutive at the World Juniors for Team Sweden at the end of the month but an injury had sidelined his progress and now it looks like there's a very good chance that he will in fact miss the tournament.
Liljegren was injured back on the 1st of December and although initially his prognosis was unknown, we now know that he suffered a high ankle sprain, a notoriously difficult injury to deal with. High ankle sprains can take a lot of time to bounce back from and given that the World Juniors are only a few days away this just seems like awful timing for Liljegren. Unfortunately for the young defenseman that may not be the only thing that he now misses out on as a result of this injury.
On Monday Sportsnet National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston had a chance to catch up with Kyle Dubas and during that time Dubas was asked about the injury to the young Leafs prospect. Unfortunately for Liljegren, Dubas made it clear that the plan was for Liljegren to compete for an NHL roster spot this season, something that would have likely depended a great deal on his performance and poise and the World Junior championship. That being said though Dubas would also go on to add that the high ankle sprain suffered by Liljegren now puts his chances of making the Maple Leafs' NHL roster in jeopardy, again something that you have to believe will be directly related to his absence from the World Junior stage.
Prior to his injury V appeared in 19 games for the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies this season, picking up 2 goals and 6 assists for a total of 8 points and a plus minus rating of -4 on the season.