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John-Michael Liles promoted to Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have recalled defenceman John-Michael Liles from the AHL's Toronto Marlies, giving the NHL club eight blue-liners on the roster.

Toronto has 8 defencemen on roster; Rielly future unclear

Defenceman John-Michael Liles, whom the Maple Leafs summoned from their AHL affiliate on Friday, has three goals and 13 points in 16 games with the Toronto Marlies this season. He has yet to appear in a game for the parent club. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Maple Leafs have recalled defenceman John-Michael Liles from the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.

Liles becomes the eighth defenceman on the roster, and his promotion raises the question of the immediate future of 19-year-old Morgan Rielly.

Rielly was not named to Team Canada's selection camp roster for the upcoming world junior championship, but the Leafs did not rule out the possibility of letting him go.

General manager Dave Nonis told Team Canada that it was highly unlikely Rielly would be released for the tournament but allowed for the possibility if Toronto's roster situation changed.

Rielly was a healthy scratch for the Leafs' 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. He had a failed clearing attempt that led to the San Jose Sharks' game-winning goal two days earlier.

"There is a learning curve that takes place to play defence in the NHL from playing major junior hockey," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We understand that. There are going to be speed bumps along the way. There are going to peaks and valleys."

Liles has three goals and 10 assists in 16 games with the Marlies. He has yet to appear in a game this season for the Leafs.

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