NHL Draft 2011: Toronto Maple Leafs Acquire John-Michael Liles
This is a great trade for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they acquire a puck-moving defenseman and they are essentially losing nothing because they will still have their own second-round pick in next year's draft.
Liles played in 76 games last season for Colorado tallying six goals and 40 assists for 46 points. He was heavily rumored to be coming to the Leafs at the trade deadline, but the deal fell through. Liles is entering the final year of a four-year deal and will come with a cap hit of $4.2 million.
Leafs assistant general manager Dave Nonis talked about the team's need for a puck-moving defenseman. He mentioned that, since the Tomas Kaberle trade, the Leafs have lacked a puck-mover. He brought up the fact that they have Jesse Blacker and Jake Gardiner waiting in the wings, but they are not ready for the NHL yet.
The addition of Liles now gives the Leafs a very nice core of young defenseman. With Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn, Keith Aulie, Carl Gunnarson and Mike Komisarek, the Leafs defense has an average age of 25.3. The Leafs will probably not want to break up the tandem of Phaneuf and Aulie, so from my view, I think that Liles will be alongside Luke Schenn with Carl Gunnarson and Mike Komisarek on the bottom pairing,
Could this be the beginning of a few moves from the Maple Leafs? Could they move up in tonight's draft or maybe even be even trade down.
I don't know, but draft day in Toronto just got a little more exciting.
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