The Toronto Maple Leafs have been making some pretty high profile moves this summer. The Leafs are attempting to bolster their roster so that the team can continue to be competitive and can take the next step this coming year.
The Leafs added a mixture of young guns and grizzled veterans this summer. Patrick Marleau, Ron Hainsey and Dominic Moore all join a young core led by the likes of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. The Leafs also drafted young Swede Timothy Liljegren, who if developed right, should be a valuable weapon on the blueline in the coming years.
Speaking of Swedish prospects, Liljegren wasn’t the first one that the Leafs keyed in on. That honour actually belongs to Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman. The slick Swedes were signed to two-year entry level deals back on May 16th. The question now is tor find out where both these players fit into the current Leafs squad.
Both Rosen and Borgman spent the past season in the Swedish Hockey League before inking their contracts with Toronto. Rosen comes from the Växjö Lakers HC and put up six goals and 13 assists in 41 games. Rosen is a left-handed defender who is listed at 6’0 and 176 pounds.
He’s also comfortable playing on the right side, which could prove valuable for the Leafs this coming fall. Rosen has good movement and skating and is considered a modern two-way defenseman. He also has international experience representing Sweden.
Borgman is also an interesting case. The slick Swede spent the season playing for HV71. He scored five goals and added ten assists in 45 games. Borgman was also named the Swedish Hockey League’s rookie of the year after his quality performance. He then went off in the playoffs for ten points in 14 games and helped his club capture the league championship.
Both players share a lot of similarities. They are young, skate extremely well and are two-way defenseman. They both possess the ability to generate offense and to make that crucial first pass to exit their zone. With speed, passing and skating the new norm for the NHL, both of these players have all the tools to succeed.
Leafs or Marlies?
The biggest question now is where these Swedes will end up. On the defensive side of things, Toronto has Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey and Connor Carrick. Alexy Marchenko and Martin Marincin are also both on the bubble for the squad.
There’s definitely space there for either Rosen, who is a couple years older, or Borgman if they impress at camp and in the preseason. I could see Rosen making the jump first and taking a roster spot this coming year. Mike Babcock likes good skating and mobile defenseman on the blueline and Rosen fits the mold while also being able to play on his offside.
Housekeeping: Calle Rosén and Andreas Borgman got same ELC from #leafs. $92,500 SB, $832,500 salary, full "Schedule A bonuses" each season.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 23, 2017
Borgman might slot in with the Marlies of the AHL, where he could develop alongside the likes of Travis Dermott and Andrew Nielsen, the next wave of Leafs defenders. The Marlies may also have Liljegren joining them for the season, but the decision is still up in the air.
The Leafs have a stacked offensive core. It was good to see them add some key pieces to the blueline which should prove handy in the future. Both Rosen and Borgman will get their chance in camp to impress the front office and coaching staff of the Leafs.
Toronto is doing all the right things in regards to building a strong team. Only time will tell how all these moves shake out.