Timothy Liljegren – 17th overall pick in 2017
Over and Under-Owned AHLers
As fantasy owners, we sometimes use ownership as a measure of a player’s value, but when broken down, it doesn’t necessarily hold as much weight as we give it. Not all owners are well informed, some are limited in terms of their roster transactions, more often than not a player’s name and pedigree hold value longer than to his actual statistics. Ownership percentage does, however, paint a picture of which players have gathered interest from fantasy owners, whether by merit, or by name recognition. In either case, it’s important for fantasy owners to periodically review their prospect pool and evaluate their prospects current trajectories in order to make informed decisions when it comes to making roster transactions.
Prospect values are an especially volatile beast, especially when we choose to watch a young player move from a league in which they have become comfortable and established into more challenging league, with pressure that they haven’t encountered in the past.
To weed out the usual suspects, I’ve listed players according to a very simple, but arbitrary criteria using the number 21. These AHL players have garnered enough attention to attain an ownership percentage of greater than 21 percent in Fantrax keeper leagues, in part due to their draft pedigree. Each of them is under the age of twenty one, and have yet to play greater than 21 NHL games. Their values are particularly volatile, as they begin and continue to form their own identity as a professional, but how much of their ownership is driven by merit, and how much is lingering from their pedigree.
Each player listed is accompanied by their details in terms of age, NHL experience, ownership rate as well as Dobber’s most recent prospect ranking. In order of ownership percentage, the full-time AHLers are as follows:
Timothy Liljegren, TOR | 34% owned, 0 NHL GP, 18 y/o | 17thin 2017 | Dobber – D4
Liljegren’s volatility factor remains quite high as this is his first year playing in North America, and as an 18-year-old nonetheless. Thus far, the Swede has done nothing to make us think that he isn’t deserving of his 34% ownership rate. That being said, Liljegren does not appear to be on track to contribute significantly at the NHL level for at least another year. On a competitive Marlies squad, he’s lost major offensive minutes to more experienced blueliners like Justin Holl, and Travis Dermott.
Verdict – Justified: 34% ownership is relatively high for the Leafs' 2017 first rounder, although his ceiling as an offensive contributor remains significant. Guhle has had a breakout season for the Amerks, and the Sabre’s may want him in the NHL soon. There aren’t many 18-year-old defensemen making ANY kind of impact at the AHL level though, so if you’re comfortable with another 1-2 year wait, Liljegren is off to a great start and could easily forecast to be a better producer than Guhle in three or so years.
Under-owned Comparison: Brendan Guhle, BUF | 14% owned, 5 NHL GP, 20 y/o | 51st in 2015 | Dobber – D25
Evgeny Svechnikov, DET | 33% owned, 2 NHL GP, 21 y/o |19th in 2015 | Dobbe