The Colorado Avalanche announced that defenseman John-Michael Liles is now under contact with the club, having signed his qualifying offer.
Liles, 24, is ready to begin his sophomore season with the Avalanche after an impressive rookie year which saw him finish the 2003-04 season as the NHL's leading scorer among rookie defensemen with 34 points (10g/24a). His 10 goals were the highest tally by a rookie defenseman in franchise history and his 34 points were the most by a rookie defenseman in the NHL since Lubomir Visnovsky scored 39 points with the Kings in 2000-01. Colorado's eighth selection (159th overall) in the 2000 Entry Draft, Liles was named to the 2003-04 NHL All-Rookie Team in recognition of his outstanding season.
"John-Michael showed us that he is capable of being the kind of player that will excel in the new NHL," said Avalanche President and General Manager Pierre Lacroix. "He's a very smart, skilled player who has a bright future ahead of him."