Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Friday that the team has acquired defenceman John-Michael Liles
from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. The second round pick was previously acquired by the Maple Leafs from the Boston Bruins as part of the Tomas Kaberle trade.
Liles, 30, appeared in 76 games with the Avalanche last season, collecting six goals and a career-high 40 assists for 46 points with 35 penalty minutes. He led Colorado in assists (tie) and blocked shots (153), was second in average ice-time per game (22:00), and led all Avalanche defencemen in scoring for the fifth consecutive season. The 5-10, 185-pound defenceman set an NHL record for the longest assist streak by a defenceman to start a season (nine games), and was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the period ending November 21.
In 523 career NHL games from 2003 to 2011, Liles has registered 275 points (68 goals, 207 assists) and 218 penalty minutes all with Colorado. He has also played 36 playoff games in that span, notching four goals, seven assists, 11 points and 16 penalty minutes. Liles was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2003-04. The native of Indianapolis, Indiana was originally Colorado’s eighth choice (fifth round), 159th overall, in the 2000 Entry Draft.
Liles played 163 games over four seasons (1999-2003) for the Michigan State Spartans, accumulating 138 points (44 goals, 94 assists) with 118 penalty minutes. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2003, named an All-American and to the CCHA’s First All-Star Team in two consecutive seasons (2001-03), and became the first two-time winner of the CCHA’s Best Offensive Defenseman Award in that same span.