Jake Gardiner named Ambassador for Special Olympics Ontario

Ice hockey player Jake Gardiner has been appointed an Ambassador for Special Olympics Ontario.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman paid a visit to the High 5 Club yesterday (September 9th 2013) as the announcement was made and, in his new role, Jake is taking part in various engagement and activities.

Gardiner was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL) in the first round, 17th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He spent the 2007–08 hockey season playing for Minnetonka High School Skippers.

On February 9, 2011, Anaheim traded Gardiner, along with Joffrey Lupul and a conditional fourth round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenceman François Beauchemin.

On March 15, 2011, Gardiner agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs.

Gardiner started the 2011–12 NHL season with the Leafs. He scored his first NHL goal on January 24, 2012 against Al Montoya of the New York Islanders. At the end of the 2011-12 season, Gardiner was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team after scoring 30 points in 75 games with the Maple Leafs.

On May 6, 2013, Gardiner became the first Toronto Maple Leaf to score a home playoff goal since Mats Sundin scored in a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on May 4, 2004, a span of nine years and two days.

Special Olympics Ontario is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with an intellectual disability through sport.

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Athlete’s Oath.

Special Olympics Ontario is part of the world’s largest sports community for people with intellectual disabilities. Improved health, self-esteem and self-confidence is a priority. Through generous corporate sponsorship and kind donations we are able to share the power of sport in close to 150 communities across Ontario.

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