Sophomore defenseman Nick Leddy agreed to terms with the Chicago Blackhawks about 5 p.m. Tuesday and was expected to sign a contract soon after that, a source close to the negotiations said.
He agreed to a contract which would pay him the rookie maximum, $900,000 if he makes the Blackhawks or $67,500 if he plays for their minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
Leddy played on the Gophers' top defensive pair with David Fischer and his plus-6 rating was the best on the team. The Wild took Leddy with the No. 16 pick in the 2009 NHL draft but traded him on Feb. 12 to Chicago in a three-player deal.
Leddy impressed the Blackhawks in their prospects camp earlier this month.
Sophomore wing Josh Birkholz also left the team on Tuesday. He was facing a suspension for breaking team rules.
Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow @RomanStrib on Twitter. E-mail Roman.