The Toronto Maple Leafs wasted little time after the Stanley Cup was handed out on Sunday night to get started on their offseason plans.
The Maple Leafs locked in one of their key young defensemen on Monday morning, agreeing to terms with Timothy Liljegren on a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $1.4 million.
Liljegren, whom Toronto selected 17th overall in the 2017 NHL draft, was a pending restricted free agent prior to his new deal and is now tied to the Leafs through the 2023-24 season, after which he will still retain his RFA status.
It's a tidy little piece of business for a player who projects to be a major piece of the Mapel Leafs' future plans for years to come.
Liljegren took a comparatively long road to the NHL, coming over to North America immediately after being drafted in 2017 and playing the majority of the next four years with the AHL's Toronto Marlies. This season was actually his first with consistent big-league playing time. And Liljegren succeeded as a full-time NHLer, establishing himself as an adept puck mover with some truly underrated defensive ability that gives the Leafs a tremendous right-shot defender around which to build their blueline.
Despite playing only 61 games, Liljegren still managed to rack up an impressive five goals and 23 points to even receive some votes for the Calder Trophy at year's end, thanks in large part to the phenomenal final stretch of the season he put together while playing alongside veteran trade deadline addition Mark Giordano.
Thankfully, for the Leafs, those two are now both signed for the next two years at a combined cap hit of $2.2 million.
With Liljegren now locked in for the foreseeable future, the Maple Leafs have yet another important building block under contract as they hope to make the most of their contention window.
Buckle up, folks. The offseason transactions are only just getting started.