2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Jordan Leopold

Mar 31, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (3) skates out with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

With the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres ending in disappointment and after a few weeks for us to gather our thoughts, it's time for us to issue our report cards on the season. Over the next few weeks, we'll grade every player that wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in 2011 and 2012, from Luke Adam to Mike Weber.

2011 - Jordan Leopold 79 10 14 24 4 28 1 0 0 110 9.1

Introduction: After the Sabres defense was overhauled in the offseason, Jordan Leopold was one of the few remaining members of the blue line. Leopold had been a member of the Sabres for only one season himself, signing a three year deal in 2010. His offensive stats dropped from 2010-11 to 2011-12 much like they have for most of the Sabres last season, but he was one of the most solid defenders the team had. Leopold had a solid defensive season though with his first plus season since his last full season with the Colorado Avalanche.

With the re-signing of Alexander Sulzer in the last couple of weeks, many Sabres feel that Leopold is an expendable piece to get rid of in the offseason, but it would be hard to replace the type of production that Leopold has brought to the Sabres in his two seasons on the ice for them.

Key Stat: Leopold's 79 games was the most played by a Sabres defender this season as injuries ravaged the lineup for much of the season. Behind Ehrhoff and Myers, Leopold had an average time on ice per game of 22:22, the second highest total in his career.

Thumbs Up: Leopold was looked upon as the Sabres top defender at times this season and played admirably when called upon. His 10 goals was the most among Sabres defensemen, two ahead of the next closest defender Tyler Myers. His production comes at a good price for a solid defender and with this being his contract year coming in the offseason, the expectations are greater that his production will increase.

Thumbs Down: With the new acquisitions the Sabres had on defense, Leopold's power play production decreased from last season. In 71 games last year, Leopold had five power play goals compared to his one this year. That decrease in extra man time would have a slight explanation on why Leopold's production as a whole decreased season to season.

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Jordan Leopold on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

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