24-Year-Old Defenseman – Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Gardiner Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension with the Maple Leafs in July 2014.
Gardiner will return to the lineup Friday against the Red Wings, Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press reports.
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|2014-15 Proj||24||NHL||TOR||81||Subscribe now to see our 2014-15 projections for Jake Gardiner|
Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
|Oct 18||at DET||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||1||0||22:56||5:09|
|Oct 14||COL||Did Not Play|
|Oct 12||at NYR||Did Not Play|
Jake Gardiner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Tremendous skating ability? Check. Elite vision? You betcha. Great offensive instincts? For sure. And a couple defensive disasters a game? Sadly, yes, but even that part of his game really is steadily improving. He struggled between the AHL and NHL last season after suffering a brain knock on a blindside hit on Dec. 8, but he really picked things up in Round One against the Bruins ... to the point where he was arguably the Leafs' best player in an OT loss in Game 4. Every team needs a guy who can skate the puck out of his own zone, create space for himself and his teammates, keep cool under extreme pressure and deliver on the power play. The sky is the limit for Gardiner, starting this year.
Ooooo baby, this guy was hot last season. He eliminated all thought that his hockey sense was subpar and he went on to be the Leafs' best defender in just his first season. He's poised and patient, with elite vision and wheels. That combo is going to catapult him into the fantasy elite in a couple years. We don't expect that proverbial sophomore slump to hit -- he was way more productive under Randy Carlyle (11 points in 18 games) than Ron Wilson (19 in 57). Forty points and top power-play time beckon this season. Then it's up, up ... UP.
Gardiner is a thoroughbred on skates who the Leafs believe was the real haul in the Joffrey Lupul deal with Anaheim. He’s big, blistering fast and can effectively QB a power play. But he still has some growing to do in his own end, particularly on his intensity and decision making. He made the jump to pro after a stand-out sophomore season at Wisconsin and will need a few seasons in the AHL to learn the pro games and add some muscle. Keeper leaguers should monitor him this year before taking the plunge -- he needs to prove he can think the game a wee bit better before we’ll anoint him the next Paul Coffey. Or even anywhere remotely close.
Gardner is a thoroughbred – this kid can fly. He converted to the blue line just three years ago so he definitely has a offensive mindset. But his mindset is the thing that could hold him back. We’ve heard whispers about his lack of hockey sense but time will tell. He will head to college and should spend several years there. He's a long-term investment.