Jordan Leopold was (born August 3, 1980 in Golden Valley, Minnesota) is currently a NHL ice hockey player for the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan was drafted in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft 44th overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and is considered to be a solid offensive defenseman. In 1999, the year in which he was drafted, he scored 23 points in the regular season playing for the University of Minnesota. In 2001-2002 he won the Hobey Baker Award for being the season's outstanding player in all of college hockey following Minnesota's first NCAA Hockey National Championship win over Maine before before a packed X-Cel energy center crowd in St. Paul MN. (the NCAA bid city in 2001-2002). Jordan also played for the USA in the World Championships that year. Jordan was quoted as saying after the NCAA Win: " Michigan and Minnesota have the most history in their programs, and I'm definitely honored to be part of the Minnesota program. What we accomplished was unbelievable. Now that I look back at it, I think it's pretty neat. They're on top, and they deserve to be on top. They're a big institution, they've got a great fan base and support throughout the community, so there's no reason they shouldn't excel."
Although he was drafted in 1999, he would not begin his NHL career until the 2002-03 NHL season. He played 58 games for the Calgary Flames and scored 4 goals and 14 points. In his second season, Leopold would look like a seasoned veteran, playing in all 82 regular season games and scoring 33 points as well as contributing to the Flames' playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final, play which earned him a spot in the defense of the American national team for the 2005 World Championships and the 2006 Winter Olympics.
On June 24th 2006, during the NHL draft, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche with a 2nd round pick in the 2006 draft (Codey Burki) and a conditional second round pick in the 2007 draft in exchange for Alex Tanguay.
WCHA All-Rookie Team - 1999
WCHA Third All-Star Team - 1999
WCHA Second All-Star Team - 2000
WCHA First All-Star Team - 2001
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year - 2001
NCAA West First All-American Team - 2001
WCHA First All-Star Team - 2002
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year - 2002
West First All-American Team - 2002
Hobey Baker Award - 2002
Played in NHL YoungStars Game - 2003
Jordan Leopold Wins Hobey Baker Award
Source: In an inerview with the AP the morning of the 2002 Championship game....
Hours before he received the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey, Minnesota's Jordan Leopold anxiously paced back and forth in his hotel room. He was nervous, but not so much about winning the award. "Let me put it this way, when you're an athlete, you don't like giving speeches," Leopold said.
Putting off the NHL for another season with the Golden Gophers, Leopold accomplished as much as he could hope in his senior year.He led the nation's defensemen with 20 goals and 46 points. He was selected WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American for the second straight year. And he picked up the Hobey Baker in front of 3,000 people in his home state.
But Leopold's season isn't done yet. The Gophers play Maine Saturday night in the NCAA championship game. "There couldn't be any other sweeter memory than taking that hardware home," he said. Until this season, his career hadn't gone the way he wanted. His freshman year, the Gophers finished 15-19-9. And he didn't experience the NCAA tournament until last season, when Minnesota lost to Maine in the first game of the East regional. "It was frustrating because when you come into a program like Minnesota, you expect to be in the Frozen Four," Leopold said. "But that didn't happen, and we needed to build the program."
Coach Don Lucia persuaded him to stay another season. "He made his decision quickly," Lucia said. "He felt it would be important for him to be a captain and to lead the team and to give himself a chance to mature a little bit. He felt there was a little unfinished business." Leopold, who beat out finalists Darren Haydar from New Hampshire and Mark Hartigan of St. Cloud State for the award, became Minnesota's fourth recipient in its 22 years, following Neal Broten 1981, Robb Stauber 1988, and Brian Bonin 1996.
Lucia was quoted as saying, " One of the reasons why we're still playing tomorrow is that when your best players are your best kids, that's when you have a championship-type team," said Lucia. "Jordan is a champion. He deserves this award."
Leopold has the chance to be the first Minnesota winner to also take home an NCAA championship in the same year. "I've never won a team trophy. I've won individual awards my whole life," Leopold said. "Nothing would compare to a national championship trophy."