The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have re-signed forward Artturi Lehkonen to a two-year contract with an average annual value of 2.4 million. The contract carries him through the 2020-2021 season.
Canadiens agree to terms on a 2-year contract with forward Artturi Lehkonen (AAV of $2.4 million).
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 11, 2019
Canadiens Re-sign Artturi Lehkonen
In 82 games this season, Lehkonen scored 11 goals and added 20 assists for 31 points. His 31 points set a new career-high. Over his career, Lehkonen has scored 41 goals and added 39 assists for 80 points in 221 games. Lehkonen was originally drafted by the Canadiens in the second round, 55th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Solidifying the Depth
Locking up Lehkonen is a solid depth move by Marc Bergevin and the Canadiens. Lehkonen, like Finnish counter-part and teammate Joel Armia, is a swiss army knife for the Canadiens. He brings versatility to the lineup as he can move up and down the line up as needed. Lehkonen possesses a strong defensive game and has proven he has the ability to score, as he put up 18 in his rookie season. He hasn’t been able to match that number since, however, Lehkonen is sniffing all around the net and creating opportunities. At only 24-years-old, he still has time to improve and become a solid goal-scorer which he was known for while playing in Finland.
Lehkonen is also one of the Canadiens best penalty killers, which is what makes him so valuable to the Canadiens. The Canadiens penalty kill finished 13 in league standings this year, with Lehkonen and Philip Danault getting most of the action. His ability to kill penalties is a very underrated but valuable part to his game.
While Lehkonen isn’t exactly a speedster, his agility and edgework are great. However, it’s his hockey IQ and his puck handling abilities that drive his offence. Lehkonen is able to find the open areas to set up for a one-timer, which he releases extremely fast. He has a hard and accurate wrist shot which we’ve seen over his short NHL career. Lehkonen isn’t afraid to get into the dirty areas of the ice despite usually giving up a lot of size.
This type of work ethic to go along with his strong two-way game is what makes Lehkonen extremely valuable to the Canadiens lineup.