November 25, 1980 |
Indianapolis, IN, USA
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||159th overall, 2000
John-Michael Liles (born November 25, 1980) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. He is also a minority owner of the Indiana Ice of the USHL.
Playing career 
Amateur career 
Liles attended Culver Military Academy and lettered in hockey and golf. In hockey, he was the varsity "B" team's MVP. He also played on the Varsity "A" team as a sophomore. Liles was then invited and selected to play in the U.S. National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor in which he was an integral part of the blueline in both the Under 17's and Under 18's. In the 1999–00 season he was recruited to play collegiate hockey with Michigan State University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and as a Freshman led the defensemen in scoring with an impressive 28 points in 40 games.
Emerging as an offensive talent but hindered by size, Liles was drafted in the 5th round, 159th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Alongside Brad Fast he formed a star offensive duo among Spartan defencemen and in his sophomore year scored 25 points in 42 contests to be named to the All-CCHA Second Team. In the 2001–02 season, Liles led the entire MSU team in scoring with 35 points to be selected in the All-CCHA First Team and Second All-American Team. On October 6, 2001 he also took part in the famous Cold War outdoor game, which at that time held the attendance record for an ice hockey game, against the University of Michigan.
During his senior season with the Spartans, Liles again led the team in scoring with 50 points in just 39 games while helping Michigan State to a 23–14–2 record. Earning the CCHA Best Offensive Defensemen Award for the second consecutive year he scored an average of 1.28 points per game for Michigan State and was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Professional career 
After completing his Collegiate career he was then signed to a two-year entry level contract with the Avalanche on March 29, 2003. Signing an amateur try-out contract the following day with Colorado's AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, Liles made his professional debut against the Grand Rapids Griffins on March 30 and played in 10 games to end the 2002–03 season.
In the 2003–04 season, Liles made the Avalanche straight out of College and scored his first NHL goal and point, a game-winner, against the Minnesota Wild on October 16, 2003. John-Michael led all rookie defensmen with 10 goals and 34 points in 79 games to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team while also becoming highest point scoring rookie defenceman in Avalanche history and second in franchise history since Bruce Bell's 37 with the Quebec Nordiques in 1984–85.
During the NHL lockout the next season, he enjoyed a brief stint in the German DEL for the Iserlohn Roosters playing in 17 contests for 11 points. Liles returned to the Avalanche for the 2005–06 season and established himself within the Avalanche D-corps appearing in all 82 games and finished tied first with Rob Blake for 14 goals on the team. Improving his offensive numbers in every category Liles also set a new club record among Colorado defensemen with 14 points in the Month of October. Following another impressive season he was then re-signed to a new two-year contract on July 12, 2006.
With the arrival of rookie Paul Stastny surprisingly making the team in 2006–07 he gave up his No. 26 jersey, that of former Nordiques great Peter Stastny, for Paul to wear to honour his father. With the change to the No. 4 jersey he led the Avalanche defense in scoring with 14 goals and 44 points, placing tenth in the NHL. In reaching his 10th goal against the Dallas Stars on December 27, 2006, Liles became the first defensemen in the NHL since Steve Duchesne in 1987–88 to score 10 plus goals in his first three years in the NHL.
After suffering the disappointment of failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in Avalanche History, Liles helped lead the team return to the post season in 2007–08. On December 17, 2007, he recorded two helpers against the Los Angeles Kings to surpass 100 career assists in the NHL. Despite leading the defense in scoring for a second consecutive year he recorded a career low 6 goals for 32 points in 81 games. With free-agency hours approaching Liles was re-signed to a new four-year contract with the Avalanche on June 30, 2008.
In the 2008–09 season, Liles rebounded offensively to again top all Avalanche defensemen in goals with 12, and ranked 4th on the team in points with 39 as the struggling Avalanche finished a club worst 27th in the NHL. Transitioning into a senior role for the Colorado defense, he scored his 50th career goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 29, 2009 to become only the 5th defender in Quebec/Colorado history to achieve the feat.
Hampered by a re-occurring shoulder injury midway through the 2009–10 season, he also struggled with returning to form and was a healthy scratch for a brief period of time for the first time in his career. Despite playing in a career low 59 regular season games for 31 points, he still led the resurgent youth-laden Avalanche team in scoring as a defenseman for a fourth consecutive season.
To begin the 2010–11 season, Liles made NHL and franchise history when he recorded an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on October 26, 2010, giving him assists in 9 consecutive games to open the season. Despite the Avalanche failing to qualify for the playoffs, Liles accumulated a career high 40 assists in 76 games.
On June 24, 2011 Liles was traded by the Avalanche to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. On January 25, 2012, Liles signed a 4 year contract extension worth $15.5 million with the Maple Leafs.
International play 
Initially Liles was selected to play for Team USA in the 2000 World Junior Championships in Umea, Sweden but suffered an injured shoulder in the last minute of the last exhibition game to rule him out of the tournament. During the 2004–05 NHL Lockout, Liles finally made his international debut when he was recalled prior to his European stint with Islerhohn Roosters as an injury replacement for Hal Gill for the 2004 World Cup. After scoring in his first exhibition game against Russia, he played in 2 games during the World Cup.
His place was retained within Team USA when he was named, alongside future teammate Jordan Leopold, as a part of the young nucleus in the squad to appear at the 2005 World Championships. Liles went pointless in 7 games before finishing in 6th place after elimination in the quarterfinals to eventual Gold medalists, the Czech Republic.
During the 2005–06 season, John-Michael was named to the United States Olympic team for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. He appeared in all 6 games for the underwhelming United States team recording 2 assists before suffering elimination in a quarterfinal loss to Finland 4-3.
Three years later he returned to the National Team when he was added to play in the 2009 World Championships following Colorado's cellar dwelling season in 2008–09. He finished the tournament with the most points on the team, and second most points for a defenseman in the entire tournament, earning nine points in nine games. Team USA ended up fourth overall, losing the bronze medal to Sweden.
Personal life 
Liles will marry his fiancée, Erin Johnson, on July 20, 2013, in Vail, Colorado.
Awards and achievements 
- 2001–02: CCHA First All-Star Team
- 2001–02: CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman
- 2001–02: NCAA West Second All-American Team
- 2002–03: CCHA First All-Star Team
- 2002–03: CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman
- 2002–03: NCAA West First All-American Team
- 2003–04: NHL All-Rookie Team
- Longest consecutive point-scoring streak for a defenceman from start of season: 9
Career statistics 
Regular season and playoffs 
|1997–98||U.S. National Development Team||USDP||62||4||14||18||44||5||2||0||2||0|
|1998–99||U.S. National Development Team||USDP||59||6||19||25||53||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Michigan State University||CCHA||40||8||20||28||26||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Michigan State University||CCHA||42||7||18||25||28||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Michigan State University||CCHA||41||13||22||35||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Michigan State University||CCHA||39||16||34||50||46||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||7||20||27||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||32||2||9||11||4||4||0||0||0||2|
|Senior int'l totals||24||1||10||11||4|
- "NHL'er Liles joins Ice ownership". United States Hockey League. 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "MSU PlayerBio: John-Michael Liles". Michigan State University. 2003-12-21. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Ten finalists named for Hobey Baker Award". ESPN. 2003-03-22. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Colorado offense dominant". ESPN. 2003-10-16. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Terry Frei (2004-03-05). "Liles valuable on a team of Vets". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles agrees to terms with Avalanche". Colorado Avalanche. 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Avs defenceman Liles gives up No. 26 so Stastny can wear father's number". The Hockey News. 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "High-scoring Avs defenseman Liles to miss four weeks". ESPN. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Avalanche ride three-goal first period to victory against Kings". CBS Sports. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Avalanche re-sign defenseman Liles, Foote". TSN. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Frei, Terry (2009-01-02). "Avs defenseman lighting the lamp after a poor 2007–08". Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Maple Leafs defeat Avalanche in 7-4 goal-fest". CBS Sports. 2009-02-29. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Terry Frei (2010-02-06). "John-Michael Liles a "healthy scratch" again". Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles happy with record, would rather have victory". National Hockey League. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- "Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Liles from Avalanche". The Sports Network. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-24.
- "Maple Leafs Sign Liles to four-year contract extension". The Sports Network. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
- "John-Michael Liles Colorado Avalanche:Bio". Colorado Avalanche. 2005-05-10. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Terry Frei (2004-08-31). "Expectations lower for U.S. in hockey". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles, Hull score in final tuneup". ESPN. 2004-08-27. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Scott Burnside (2005-04-29). "U.S. Defensemen ready for their roles". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles named to U.S. Olympic Team". Colorado Avalanche. 2005-12-19. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Never-say-die 'tude not enough for Team USA". ESPN. 2006-02-26. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles added to U.S. National Team". Colorado Avalanche. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Liles, Team USA finish fourth at WC". Colorado Avalanche. 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2010-07-14.