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Leafs recall another -- this time, defenseman Rinat Valiev

Rinat Valiev;  Oliver Bjorkstrand

Russia’s Rinat Valiev, right, battles for the puck with Denmark’s Oliver Bjorkstrand during the third period of a preliminary round game at the World junior hockey championships in Toronto on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


The Toronto Maple Leafs could have another rookie in the lineup this weekend. This morning, they announced the recall of defenseman Rinat Valiev from the AHL.

Valiev has scored three goals with 18 assists in 54 games for the Marlies this season. The 20-year-old was drafted 68th overall by the Leafs in 2014. He represented Russia at the 2015 World Juniors.

According to CP’s Jonas Siegel, if Valiev plays Saturday against the Senators, he’ll become the ninth Leaf to make his NHL debut in 2015-16.

The other eight are William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman, Viktor Loov, Brendan Leipsic, Byron Froese, and Garret Sparks.

The Leafs, in case you hadn’t heard, are going through a bit of a rebuild.