(TORONTO, ON) – Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the hockey club has signed defenceman Jake Gardiner to a three-year entry level contract. Gardiner will report to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies for the remainder of the season.
The Leafs acquired Gardiner on February 9 from the Anaheim Ducks along with Joffrey Lupul and a conditional fourth round draft pick in 2013 in exchange for defenceman Francois Beauchemin. The 20 year-old-native of Deephaven, Minnesota was originally Anaheim’s first choice, selected 17th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Gardiner, a 6-2, 184-pound defenceman, played 41 games for the University of Wisconsin this season and collected 40 points on 10 goals and 30 assists with 30 penalty minutes. He ranked second on Wisconsin in assists and third in points. In 2009 he was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team.
Internationally, Gardiner won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships. In seven games for Team USA, he registered three assists and a plus-nine rating.