Considered a complete package. He finds the scoresheet by outworking opponents and contributing at both sides of the ice. It could take a season or two to find his game in America but once settled in, carries top-9 potential at the NHL level.
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December 2019 – The Jacket’s signed the undrafted Swede to a one-year deal back in June. Lilja is coming off a career year in the SHL with 37 points (12G + 25A) in 52 games with Djurgårdens IF, finishing the season tied for 10th in league scoring. The 26-year-old amassed 99 points over the course of four SHL seasons, splitting time between three teams respectively. After producing just two assists in 10 (NHL) games, the Limhamn native has been assigned to the clubs AHL affiliate team. This allows him the opportunity to play higher minutes while he acclimates himself to American hockey. While he is never the flashiest player on the ice, his work ethic is bar-none and finds a way to contribute at both ends of the ice. This minor league stint should not last forever and CBJ will likely give their off-season experiment another crack at the NHL at some point this season. When they do, look for him to continue grinding it out on the team’s bottom-six. Dave Hall