The Toronto Maple Leafs made a pair of roster moves on Tuesday. First, they signed prospect Jake Gardiner to a three-year entry level contract, while defenceman Matt Lashoff officially cleared re-entry waivers.
Gardiner, a 6’2″, 184-pound defenceman, was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on February 9th along with forward Joffrey Lupul and a conditional draft pick in exchange for Francois Beauchemin. Gardiner was originally selected 17th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Ducks.
A native of Deephaven, Minnesota, Gardiner played for the University of Wisconsin this season, where he collected 40 points (10 goals and 30 assists) in 41 games. He was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 2009.
Gardiner was also a part of the 2010 United States gold medal winning team at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon and Regina. In seven games, Gardiner had three assists and was a plus-9.
Earlier in the day, it was reported by Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Gardiner had signed with the Leafs, but it was yet to be made official, which it since has.
Russo says that Gardiner has great skating ability and believes that the Maple Leafs will give him a fair chance. For now, Gardiner will report directly to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Matt Lashoff went unclaimed in the last 24 hours, as he was placed on re-entry waivers by the Maple Leafs, something that was mandatory if he was to be called up. Since no one claimed the 24-year-old, Lashoff has joined the Maple Leafs and practiced with them Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre.
In 69 games with the Marlies this season, Lashoff has seven goals and 21 assists for a total of 28 points to go along with a plus-4 rating.
Follow me on Twitter @LukasHardonk for more Maple Leafs coverage, including news, rumours, updates and opinion.