Meet your new defenseman, Jordan Leopold. He is a 29 year old former 2nd round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks. You may know him best as being on the Calgary team that went to the Cup finals the year before the lockout, which was his best year for point production (33). He bounced around a bit after that, going to Colorado for parts of three seasons, going back to Calgary, then splitting last year between Florida and Pittsburgh. He had a solid season last year, with a career high in goals (11) between the two teams.
As pointed out by Mike Harrington over at the Buffalo News, Leopold’s playoff numbers are not awe-inspiring – 15 points, all of them assists, in 54 games, with 10 of those during that 03-04 flames run (26 games). He got squeezed a bit in ice time, averaging 4 min less per game with Pittsburgh for instance this year. He led the Flames in ice time in the playoffs last year, however, so that’s no excuse. He is more of puck-mover than a big hitter, though he is big enough that it should be part of his game, so that’s a knock against him. Still, he can play a lot of minutes and is young enough that he could get slightly better.
I know a lot of you are thinking 3 years, $3 million per is a bit high, but it doesn’t really bother me. Yes, it’s the same deal that Lydman signed, but Leopold is 3 years younger, and they should be prime years. If Jordan can notch 8-10 goals, nailing down the second pairing and second PP unit, $3 million is just right. A solid, Darcy Regier-type pick. I hope it works out. Hit the jump for a few videos of Leopold:
From this year’s playoffs, Leopold getting steamrolled by Andy Sutton (hey I didn’t say they’d all be in his favor)
Sweet backhand top shelf penalty shot goal: