Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas wouldn’t confirm Monday that he is looking to add a defenceman before the trade deadline, but said he will look to the trade market if the team doesn’t improve their breakouts from the defensive zone.

Dubas said the team - forwards and defencemen - needs to better when it comes to moving the puck out of their own zone. He added if that isn't an area they're improving on by February, "I think we will certainly look to improve."

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reported last week the Maple Leafs are in the market to add defensive help and a young forward could be moved out in a trade.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the Toronto Maple Leafs, between now and the trade deadline in February, nothing imminent of course, but their target would be to get help on the blueline," McKenzie said on Insider Trading

"If the St. Louis Blues say they’re open for business and they’re willing to listen on Alex Pietrangelo, or anybody else, you know the Leafs are going to make that call. It doesn’t guarantee Pietrangelo will be traded by the Blues or if he is traded, that it would necessarily be to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but certainly Carolina, St. Louis anybody that’s got a good defenceman, Toronto will be interested in talking to them.

"As for the assets that may move, you talked about Kapanen, Andreas JohnssonConnor Brown those are other assets that Toronto may ultimately have to move if they want to get a defenceman. Something to keep in mind on  Andreas Johnsson – he is eligible for salary arbitration at the end of this season, in terms of your asset management and protection, that might be a reason that he, more than Kasperi Kapanen, could be on the move."

Dubas also said Monday that the team had expected to see Toronto Marlies defenceman Timothy Liljegren challenge for a roster spot this season, but that has been thrown into doubt by a high-ankle sprain suffered while playing in the AHL earlier this month.

Dubas said Liljegren, who had been loaned to Team Sweden, is unlikely to return in time to play in the World Juniors next week.

"I don’t know that he’s overly close just yet [to coming back], and it’s understandable he wants to push to play for Sweden at the World Junior, but I just don’t know that it’s going to be realistic," Dubas said.

Liljegren had two goals and six points in 19 games with the Marlies prior to the injury.