Some links to scratch the hockey itch this August long weekend.

Leafs Links

Button: Timothy Liljegren is a talented defenceman (TSN1050)
TSN Resident Scout and General Manager Craig Button joined Andy McNamara to break down the World Junior Summer Showcase on TSN and discussed Timothy Liljegren.

The bottom line is Timothy Liljegren has a lot of talent. He’s a defenceman that can skate that is very competitive. He’s somebody that I’ve watched for two years. You build the dossier on the player. You continue to watch. What you’re going to assess is your own assessment. Is he better than I thought? Is he not as good as I thought? But he’s a really good defenceman. He uses his skating to transport the puck. He uses his skating defensively. He’s got great leverage. He’s got great strength on his skates. He gets under his opponents and can take you off the puck. Those are the elements that allow you to play in the NHL.

Now, at what level you’re going to play at and how good you’re going to be is predicated on some other things. Some of those things are developmental. I think, for defencemen, a big part of it is not just learning what to do but just as importantly what not to do. Young defencemen, because they have the puck a lot and can do so many things at younger ages, have to learn that you might not be able to do those same things as you advance up the levels. I don’t think it’s any different for Timothy Liljegren. I think the Leafs got a real good solid player there and somebody that is going to have a good, long NHL career.

2017 World Junior Summer Showcase: Timothy Liljegren leaves his mark (MLHS)
The eyes of all Leafs fans were primarily on Timothy Liljegren, who played on the second pairing with 2018 draft-eligible Jesper Sellgren. Liljegren continued to show off his silky-smooth skating and his ability to break the offensive zone with control. He also continued to pepper the net with three shots on goal, giving him 17 shots over the tournament — the most on Team Sweden and tied for third in the showcase.

2017 Top 25 Under 25 recap: #21-25 (PPP)
First, the vitals. Korshkov is long and lean, a right-winger measuring at a towering 6’4”, but only 193 lb. For reference, Tyler Bozak is listed at around the same weight but at just 6’1”. And no one will mistake Bozak for a physical presence anytime soon. So despite his size, don’t think of Korshkov as a hulking power forward. He’s willing to throw around his body (at least if you look at his hit totals), but his playmaking skills seem to be his main method of generating offense. Qualitatively, he has a reputation as a player who positions himself well, using his smooth stride to get him from point A to B.

Golden Knights end their Nate Schmidt drama (Puck Daddy)
First, let it be said that Schmidt and the Knights are the only ones that actually reached an arbitration hearing this summer, out of 30 possible cases. That they couldn’t get a deal done probably speaks to two factors: That Schmidt’s numbers last season (3 goals, 14 assists in 60 games with the Washington Capitals) aren’t too dazzling, but his potential in a larger role is undeniable; and that Schmidt wanted a one-year deal with a high salary, assuming that his role was going to be larger in the Knights’ inaugural season and he’ll have better numbers in the next rodeo.

John Tavares says he wants time with Islanders ‘to continue’ (PHT)
Stamkos himself said all the right things before re-signing with the Lightning, but then again, Tampa Bay has enjoyed some deep playoff runs. The Islanders haven’t been able to do the same, yet give Tavares credit: he’s at least saying the right things as well, as he did with TSN on Tuesday. “I think I’ll just keep that all internal,” Tavares said. “We’ve had great open communication, it’s obviously a great place to play, I’ve enjoyed my time being an Islander and I want that experience to continue.”

Duchene not letting trade rumours distract him (TSN)
Matt Duchene admits that his sole focus right now is getting into peak shape for training camp and isn’t too worried about the swirling trade rumours.

Right now, I’m pretty relaxed. I know whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I don’t really have control over it. I’m just worried about being on the top of my game and kind of getting to where I was in the first half of last season before everything fell apart for everybody in Colorado… It is what it is and we’ll let it happen.

Analyzing five potential trade destinations for Matt Duchene (Sportsnet)
“People look at him as a complementary No. 2 as opposed to a No. 1 cornerstone,” Elliotte Friedman said on Prime Time Sports Thursday evening. Although Duchene hasn’t been traded yet, it’s still possible a contender will come knocking and meet Colorado’s asking price to add that secondary piece. And in a better situation, who says Duchene can’t approach his career-high totals once more?

Prust earns PTO with Kings, eyeing NHL return (Sportsnet)
The forward missed all of last season after being unable to secure an NHL contract, instead spending 29 games with Germany’s Nuremberg Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers. Prior to that brief stint in Europe, the London, Ontario native attempted a similar NHL comeback last October, skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs for an extended tryout that never progressed to a full-time spot. “They didn’t have room,” said Prust to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox in June. “They kept a lot of rookies, but I think I made a good impression where they wanted me to stick around and see what happens. I was waiting for a couple of months.”