According to Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed recently acquired defenseman Jake Gardiner to a three-year entry level contract worth upwards of $875,000, excluding bonuses. The 20-year old junior at the University of Wisconsin was acquired by the Leafs on February 9th in the deal that sent veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks. Joffrey Lupul, who has 8 points in 15 games since joining the Leafs, was also an integral part of the trade.
Gardiner has recorded 41 points in 41 games in his third year with Wisconsin Badgers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Associate. No timetable has been set for a potential promotion to the Toronto Marlies, but speculation persists that Gardiner will join the AHL team at the conclusion of his college season.