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Maple Leafs recall defenseman Kristiāns Rubīns from the Marlies

The Maple Leafs announced on Thursday morning that 23-year-old defenseman Kristiāns Rubīns has been recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. Through six games with the Marlies so far this season, he has registered a goal and two assists to match his totals in 22 games last season. Rubīns was recently selected as one of the first three players to the Latvian squad for the upcoming Olympics.

Rubīns joins a Maple Leafs defensive unit that is in a state of flux. Justin Holl has been a healthy scratch for the last two games after forming a reliable shutdown pairing alongside Jake Muzzin in the last couple of seasons, TJ Brodie has taken his place alongside Muzzin, and Timothy Liljegren is beginning to show that he can be relied upon as a regular member of the top-six.

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With all the movement on Toronto’s back end, Travis Dermott has been given a chance to play a larger role on a pairing with the recently extended Morgan Rielly but he was banged up in Tuesday’s victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. He blocked a shot off his foot and missed most of the second period while undergoing x-rays which came back negative. Even still, it would be fair to assume that Rubīns’ recall means that Dermott could miss some time.

If Dermott is unable to play against Tampa Bay on Thursday night, Holl seems like the most likely candidate to draw back into the lineup but Rubīns is clearly in the conversation and another injury on the blue line could see him making his NHL debut in the near future.

 

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(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)