ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) – Former University of Minnesota star and Twin Cities native Jordan Leopold is coming home to the Minnesota Wild.

Just hours before the end of the NHL’s trade deadline, the Wild made a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets to acquire Leopold. Originally from Plymouth and a graduate of Armstrong High School, Leopold went onto become a star defenseman for the Gophers hockey team. He won a national championship with Minnesota and also won the Hobey Baker Award.

Leopold was drafted in the second round in 1999 by the Anaheim Ducks.  He’s been in the NHL since 2002 and played with seven teams. In 25 games this year, he has one goal and two assists.

The Wild reportedly dealt Justin Falk and a fifth-round draft choice in exchange for Leopold.

Leopold has played 13 years in the NHL for Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, St. Louis and Columbus.

The 34-year-old Leopold, an unrestricted free agent this summer, has been separated from his family since he was acquired on Nov. 15 from the St. Louis Blues for a fifth-round pick in 2016.

His 10-year-old daughter Jordyn sent a plaintive letter to the Wild’s coaches asking that they help swing a deal to bring her father home.

The 26-year-old Falk, who requested a trade, is a restricted free agent this summer. He was scoreless in 13 games with the Wild this season and has a goal and 16 assists in 142 NHL games. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft.

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