As unbelievable as it may seem, Jake Gardiner, at just 23 years of age, will be playing alongside four Team USA defenders who are considerably younger than him at the World Championships.
The American squad will feature a lot of young talent, but it will be relatively inexperienced heading to Belarus.
Gardiner played a prominent role with the Leafs as the season ended, as his all-around game improved a great deal. He'll be counted on to play well in all three zones for the United States.
The Minnesota native had 10 goals and 21 assists with the Leafs in 2013-14. He'll be expected to play an offensive role with Team USA, and given the squad's youth on the point, expect Gardiner to play well over 20 minutes per game.
He's likely to see even strength, power-play and penalty-killing time.
Gardiner is on the cusp of becoming a top-pairing NHL defender. He may accelerate that process with strong play in Belarus.
All stats can be found on NHL.com unless otherwise noted.