Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Timothy Liljegren is beginning to understand his place at the team's development camp.
The Swedish defender - who the Maple Leafs nabbed with the 17th overall pick in last month's draft - was on hand Friday to speak to the media sporting a new Lou Lamoriello-approved hair cut, and gave some insight into his perceived timeline with the club.
The 18-year-old appears well aware of the team's history of easing its top prospects into the lineup - Auston Matthews was clearly an exception this past year - as he doesn't expect to challenge for a roster spot next season.
"I think one more year to develop and I’ll try the NHL," Liljegren said, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox.
Liljegren is a smooth-skating defenseman whose biggest strengths are in his offensive game, even garnering lofty comparisons to Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. That being said, Liljegren admits Nicklas Lidstrom is the type of player he would like to be someday, which could be in the cards judging by how he describes his game.
"I skate good. I like to have the puck in the offensive zone and make plays and score points," Liljegren said.
The Maple Leafs would be thrilled if that's the type of player Liljegren becomes at the NHL level, and if they have to wait an extra year before they get a real taste of what he can do, they'll likely be just fine with that.