34-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Jordan Leopold Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.
Leopold had two shots on goals and four blocks in 17:19 of ice time in Tuesday's win over Ottawa.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Leopold was picked up in a trade with Buffalo midway through last season and logged two assists in his new uniform. Though he is a fairly savvy defenseman, he is probably considered number five or six (at best) on the Blues' defensive depth chart. Consider him an in-season pickup if you are in desperate need of minutes. Otherwise, Leopold just doesn't bring much fantasy value.
Leopold predictably saw his point total drop 11 points last season after posting a career-high 35 in 2010-11. The arrival of Christian Ehrhoff lessened Leopold's offensive role, and that should continue this season. He's able to eat up more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, but should not be expected to eclipse the 30-point mark this season. Leopold is worth a look in deeper leagues as he has posted double-digit goals in each of the last two seasons.
From an offensive standpoint, Leopold had a very, very good year for the Sabres last year, netting 13 times while chipping in with 22 assists in 71 games. His role on the power play in 2011-12 figures to diminish greatly with the addition of Christian Ehrhoff and emergence of Marc-Andre Gragnani. His numbers will almost surely go down as a result.
Leopold figures to have better numbers in Buffalo than he did with Florida just because he'll have much more talent around him, and having Ryan Miller behind you doesn't hurt either. If Leopold gets time on the power play, which seems very likely, 30 points is very reasonable.
Leopold was brought in to shore up the Panthers' top six, and he might be in line to accent some of the offensive production he has demonstrated in the past. As always, health will be a major theme. If he can get at least 60 games under his belt, there's a decent chance he can crack 25 points — but that makes him a risky option at best.
Once a highly-touted defensive prospect with a solid two-way game, Leopold's NHL career has stalled the last couple of seasons due to a rash of injuries. In fact, he's only played one complete season thus far in his five-year career. If he could just stay healthy, he would be a good complement to John-Michael Liles as a point-man for the Avs' power play. A possible sleeper candidate.
Leopold will play heaving minutes on the blue line, if he can stay healthy. That's something he was unable to do in his first season in Denver.
Leopold is likely to miss at least the first two weeks of the season after undergoing offseason hernia surgery. The initial prognosis was that he would not be able to play until November, so his recovery is ahead of schedule. Last year, Leopold struggled in Calgary (two goals, 18 assists), but he is expected to play a major role with the Avalanche. Colorado acquired him to help fill the void left by Rob Blake, who signed with the Kings. Leopold is a sleeper pick in 2006-07.
Leopold spent 2004/05 recovering from a concussion suffered in an exhibition game for Team USA at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey in the spring. The Flames are expecting Leopold to continue to elevate his game, which he has done during the first two years of his career. He led the Flames defense in goals and assists, and will continue to improve; this 25 year old has loads of potential and playing the power play point with Roman Hamrlik will only increase his totals.