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Timothy Liljegren and Connor Carrick. Liljegren would have been

4 months 5 days ago #346 by elvafeng
elvafeng created the topic: Timothy Liljegren and Connor Carrick. Liljegren would have been
The Toronto Maple Leafs need a defenseman or three .
Specifically, the Toronto Maple Leafs need a right handed defenseman. And the one who always gets mentioned is Carolina’s Justin Faulk.

Personally https://www.tormapleleafsfans.com/james-van-riemsdyk-jersey-c-10.html , I think the Leafs could have a perfectly fine defensive group by utilizing Martin Marincin, Timothy Liljegren and Connor Carrick. Liljegren would have been, if not for mono, a top three pick, which means he almost certainly would have been able to step into the NHL in his first post draft year had things gone differently.
You can’t make up for a lost year of development, so he clearly wasn’t ready for the NHL last year, but he did play a regular shift as one of the youngest players in the AHL – and his team won a championship.

Liljegren has the talent and in a third pairing role where he could be slightly sheltered https://www.tormapleleafsfans.com/william-nylander-jersey-c-11.html , I think he could excel. Both Marincin and Carrick have excellent defensive impacts but are underrated because they don’t score. Doesn’t matter, the Leafs re signed both because they know this. Both players should be in the lineup nightly.

So you could have a lineup that looks like this

Rielly – Gardiner

Dermott – Zaitsev / Hainsey
Marincin – Carrick

By removing Hainsey from the top pairing, and Polak all together https://www.tormapleleafsfans.com/dominic-moore-jersey-c-12.html , the Leafs D is vastly improved over last season.

Still though, with their cap space and a number of assets they could trade Brown, Kapanen, Johnsson Zach Hyman Jersey , Draft Picks I highly doubt they’ll enter the season without at least one upgrade.

So What about Justin Faulk?

Justin Faulk is 26 years old, he’s a great offensive defenseman 49 points career high and 37, 37, and 31 the last three years but isn’t especially great defensively.

He’s very similar to Morgan Rielly in that he’s a good mobile puck mover who can score, but who is terrible at defense.

If the Leafs won’t partner Jake Gardiner with Rielly they have about a season’s worth of minutes together over their careers and have been dominant together then they need a partner for Rielly. Ron Hainsey cannot possibly be on the first pairing again.

But Faulk is the same essentially player. Not complimentary – the same. Chris Tanev or Mark Pysyk – players who excel at defense – would compliment Rielly much more than his right handed doppleganger would.

Furthermore, Faulk isn’t a good fit because his skill set is already well covered by what the Leafs have. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner are both 50 point defenseman more than Faulk has ever scored while Travis Dermott and Timothy Liljegren are offensive oriented puck movers. Nikita Zaitsev is a puck mover who can’t defend.

That’s five guys who all can do what Faulk does. Sure, Faulk is right handed, but big deal. Left handed players play the right side all the time.

Faulk has two more seasons at a more than reasonable 4.8 million. But the cost to acquire him high and the fact that you only get him for two years before having to overpay a 28 year old with a contract into his thirties.

The Leafs do not need another mainly offensive defenseman with no defensive skills. They likely would prefer a younger player with more team control.

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