Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 7/30/14

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that defenseman Jake Gardiner has signed a five-year contract. According to multiple media reports, the deal is worth $20.25 million (an average annual value of $4.05 million). “He had a great year last year,” Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told the Toronto Star. “He’s clearly still improving. This isn’t a player who has reached his ceiling yet. There’s a lot more for Jake to give. He’s already a very good player. … We think there’s a chance he could improve dramatically over the five-year period.” Gardiner, 24, had 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 80 games last season. Gardiner, selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round (No. 17) of the 2008 NHL Draft, was traded to Toronto on Feb. 9, 2011 with forward Joffrey Lupul and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft for defenseman Francois Beauchemin. “[Coach Randy Carlyle] thinks a lot of Jake,” Nonis told the newspaper. “He does push him in certain ways that Jake had to adjust to, but it’s only because Randy knows how good Jake can be. Having Jake locked up for five years will make Randy very happy.” The post Jake Gardiner signs five-year deal with Toronto Maple Leafs appeared first on Sports Glory.

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