Friday, February 11, 2011
Scouting Report: Jake Gardiner
Jake Gardiner is a versatile offensive defenseman with size, quick feet and great hands. He was quickly able to adjust and adapt to playing on the blueline after having played much of his career as a forward. Gardiner has demonstrated remarkably sound and smart positional play. He utilizes his speed and hockey instincts to play the defensive position effectively. It is further enhanced by his tremendous on-ice awareness, and his ability to read and react to developing plays accordingly. Gardiner’s skating is one of his best attributes. He is very agile and has tremendously quick feet that can be seen particularly in his transitioning.
Not only does he have great poise and patience with the puck, but he has shown that he can be quite creative with it too. His outstanding puck distribution skills also make him a very good quarterback on the power play. Another standout feature about Gardiner is his shot. He possesses a very hard shot with a quick release, and has no trouble getting pucks to the net. He’ll also shoot as often as the opportunity presents itself.
At 6’2/178 lbs, Gardiner has good size and strength that he also uses to his advantage, both offensively and defensively. He can finish his checks very well. Where Gardiner is particularly dangerous are in the areas in front of the net and along the boards. As his body matures, Gardiner will become an even more dominant and effective force on the blueline.
In his freshman season with the University of Wisconsin, Gardiner posted 3 goals and 21 assists in 39 games. He also posted a plus-4 rating and potted two goals on the man-advantage.
In his sophomore season, Gardiner posted 6 goals, 7 assists and a plus-23 rating in 41 games. He also played for the US in the WJC where he posted 3 assists and a plus-9 rating in 7 games.