Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jake Gardiner Traded to Maple Leafs

If it seems too good to be true it usually is. I, along with many Wisconsin fans became enamored with the possibility of Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz, two draft picks of the Anaheim Ducks playing together in the National Hockey League.

That dream was (at least for now) demolished with the news that Gardiner's rights had been traded from Anaheim to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Anaheim selected Gardiner with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Ducks General Manager during the 2008 draft? Brian Burke. The Leafs GM that just traded for Jake Gardiner? Brian Burke. Coincidence?

Burke has always been a strong advocate of the college hockey game. And it has shown in his transition as GM of the Leafs.

Gardiner, a Minnetonka, Minnesota native is having his best season as a Badger during his junior campaign. The speedy defenseman had 30 points in 30 games for Wisconsin, which makes him the third highest scoring defenseman in college hockey.

Gardiner, who recently signed up for a twitter account started the day at 75 followers. Since the trade to Toronto was announced, he's shot up to near 1,500 and the number continues to skyrocket.

Gardiner, who seemed genuinely excited left this note on his twitter page this afternoon, "It's a great feeling to be a part of the leafs organization! Thanks for your support everybody."

Photo by Melody Hasse

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