COLUMBUS, OHIO --- The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Jordan Leopold, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
“Jordan Leopold has been a great pro since joining our hockey club in November and this was an opportunity for us to acquire a good, young defenseman in Justin Falk and another pick in this year’s draft, while giving Jordan the opportunity to re-join his family in the Twin Cities,” said Kekalainen.
Falk, 26, has recorded seven penalty minutes in 13 games with the Wild this season and added 1-6-7 and 34 penalty minutes in 39 games with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild. The Snowflake, Manitoba native has posted 1-16-17 and 127 penalty minutes in 142 career NHL games with the Wild and New York Rangers.
The 6-5, 215-pound defenseman registered 0-2-2 and 20 penalty minutes in 21 games with the New York Rangers in 2013-14. He posted career highs in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes with 1-8-9 and 54 penalty minutes in 47 games with Minnesota in 2011-12.
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Minnesota’s second pick, 110th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft, Falk has also collected 7-26-33 and 206 penalty minutes in 228 career AHL games with the Houston Aeros and Iowa Wild. He also recorded 7-44-51 and 223 penalty minutes in 191 career Western Hockey League games in four seasons split between the Calgary Hitmen and Spokane Chiefs from 2004-08, helping Spokane win the WHL championship in 2007-08. The Chiefs also won the Memorial Cup championship that year as Falk was named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.
Leopold, 34, posted 1-2-3 and nine penalty minutes in 18 games with the Blue Jackets after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues on November 15 for a fifth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The Golden Valley, Minnesota native has registered 67-146-213 and 285 penalty minutes with the Blue Jackets, Blues, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames in 677 career games during his 12-year career. He has also appeared in 71 career Stanley Cup playoff games, collecting 0-17-17 and 26 penalty minutes.