For all of their faults – and their are numerous – the Toronto Maple Leafs woes cannot be attributed to the play of Jake Gardiner. For a kid most people had slated for another year of hockey elsewhere (read: AHL) before making the jump to the big club, he forced his way on to the roster with an impressive summer and held his spot with solid play this season.
He has been lauded for his offensive play, showing off great speed and puckhandling ability and certainly looks like the quarterback of the Leafs’ blueline (har har har) for years to come. The ultimately equalizer is his speed and I can’t stress this enough.
The dude can skate.
Check out this gem of a goal he scored on Thursday.
Apparently he’s got some dangles in him too. All in all, that was a pretty goal from a kid with a very bright future in the show.
Which young defencemen are you keeping an eye on going forward?