May 13, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel (81), defenseman Cody Franson (4), center Nazem Kadri (43) and defenseman Jake Gardiner (51) celebrate a goal during the third period in game seven of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Three Leafs Heading To Team USA Olympic Orientation Camp


Mar 21, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner (51) takes the puck into the Buffalo Sabres zone during the first period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Jake Gardiner are among the invitees to the USA Mens Hockey Olympic orientation camp and will join a stacked group of hopefuls. That list includes forwards Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise and Derek Stepan, while the defense includes Dustin Byfuglien, Jack Johnson, Justin Faulk and the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Seth Jones.

This will be the second time Kessel has represented the States at the Olympics if he makes the team, while it will be the first time for both Gardiner and van Riemsdyk. Kessel and JvR seem like shoe-ins to make the squad, but Gardiner is far from a guarantee, as he will have to beat some heavy competition on the back-end.

Kessel finished the 48 game season last year with 20 goals and 52 points while JvR finished with 18 goals and 32 points. Jake Gardiner finished the year with no goals but had four assists in only 12 games played last season.

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