The Montreal Canadiens officially announced the signing of Artturi Lehkonen on Sunday, inking the Finnish forward to an entry-level deal. Lehkonen recently led Frolunda to the SHL Championship, leading all scorers with 11 goals and 19 points in 16 playoff games. He also broke the franchise’s playoff points record, previously held by Daniel Alfredsson.
Artturi Lehkonen Signed by Habs
Lehkonen has one-year remaining on his contract with Frolunda. It has been reported that if he does not make the Habs out of training camp next year, he will be loaned back to his Swedish league team, rather than playing with the St. John’s Ice Caps in the AHL.
In light of the news here is a detailed look at Lehkonen, and what he can bring to the Habs.
Artturi Lehkonen Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Jul 4 1995 — Piikkio, Finland
Height 5’11” — Weight 176 lbs [180 cm / 80 kg]
Drafted by Montreal Canadiens in round 2, #55 overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Lehkonen is a talented offensive player and natural goal scorer. He has great stick handling and the ability to beat defenders one on on one. He also has a hard and accurate wrist shot, and his lightning quick release helps him to beat goaltenders and find the back of the net.
Lehkonen also has good hockey IQ, and a knack for finding the open areas of a defence. This ability allows him to set up for a one timer, which he can unleash with great results. Lehkonen is at his best when he is in the dirty areas of the ice. Despite being undersized, he does work to win battles along the boards, and to get to the front of the net. He causes havoc in and around the crease, working to tip in shots or bury rebounds. Lehkonen is also a decent play maker, with good passing and vision, but it is the goal scoring that he is best known for.
Lehkonen is a good skater. While not a speedster, his top end speed and acceleration are well above average. He also has great edgework and agility, which allows him to get past opposing defenders, either through slick moves, or by driving wide and to the net. His balance is good, but he still needs to bulk up as he can be pushed off the puck at times. Lehkonen has added strength since being drafted, but will need to continue to bulk up this summer if he wants to make the Habs out of training camp next year.
Lehkonen plays a mature and responsible defensive game. He provides back pressure, and supports his defence and goaltender. Lehkonen reads the play well and cuts down passing and shooting lanes. He has good anticipation and can create turnovers. Once he does, he is quick to start the transition game and create offence out of defence.
The following playlist is compromised of various youtube highlight packages of Lehkonen in action.