The Toronto Maple Leafs have begun trading and the 2011 NHL Entry Draft hasn’t even begun. The Maple Leafs sent a second round draft pick in 2012 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenceman John-Michael Liles on Friday.
The second round pick that Toronto is sending to Colorado is the same draft pick that the Leafs acquired from the Boston Bruins in the Tomas Kaberle deal.
Liles, 30, scored six goals and 40 assists for 46 points in 76 games last season. In 523 career regular season games, Liles has 68 goals and 207 assists for 275 points to go along with 218 penalty minutes. The Indianapolis native has also represented the United States four different times on the international stage.
Liles has one year remaining on his contract at $4.5 million. His annual cap hit is $4.2 million.
The trading season really kicked off yesterday when the Philadelphia Flyers sent Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks. The Flyers then sent captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and a draft pick.
In other news, the Maple Leafs hired former Atlanta Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley today. His position has yet to be announced.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is set to begin at 7 PM EST tonight, with the Edmonton Oilers making the first pick. You can follow THW writers on Twitter for up-to-date draft information.