Jake Gardiner, the newest Duck.

Ducks take Jake Gardiner, a converted 6-foot, 173-pound defenseman, with the 17th pick. Central scouting had him at No. 23, so you could consider him a bit of a reach, but here’s the scouting reports:



NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee

“Jake’s biggest attribute is that he might be one of the best skaters in the draft – he is just a pure skater. He used to be a forward and they made him a defensemen a few years ago and he loves being a defenseman. He is smart with the puck, unselfish and he’s careful. He is another one that has grown all year, I had him measured at 6’0″ – he might be almost 6’2″ and that’s been not even a year. He’s a greyhound right now, wiry, but he’ll fill out. He is dynamic when he grabs the puck and goes. He has a very quick dangerous wrist shot – he gets it away like Joe Sakic does. The dimension of his quickness fools goalies. I liken him to Brett Hedican when he was in high school but maybe a little more polished. He’s an easy player to like.”

Minnetonkahead coach Brian Urick

“Making the switch from playing forward to defenseman really helped Jake improve as a player. He makes a better defenseman because of his experience playing as a forward. Jake has an uncanny ability to read plays and this helps him see the ice in a different way.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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