The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed restricted free agent forward Artturi Lehkonen, further strengthening a deep winger group. The deal is for one-year and is worth $2.3 million. He will be an RFA when it expires next summer. The team announced the move on their website and Twitter account.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 31, 2021
Canadiens Re-Sign Artturi Lehkonen
25-year-old Artturi Lehkonen had an up and down season in 2020-21. His regular season scoring plummeted from 13 goals and 27 points in 70 games in 2019-20 to just seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 47 games this season. His Corsi For remained a respectable 52.7 percent, and his relative Corsi was -2.0 in a highly defensive role. That defensive role would be big for the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs though, as he often played with Philipp Danault and Brendan Gallagher against the other team’s best lines. He scored just three goals and an assist in 17 playoff games, but one goal was memorable as he scored the Game 6 overtime-winner to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights and send the Habs to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Canadiens originally drafted the 6’0″ Lehkonen in the second round of the 2013 Draft and have been rewarded with a fine middle-six option. He has a total of 61 goals and 59 assists for 120 points in 338 games with mostly above-average possession numbers. His career scoring rate isn’t astonishing, but it’s good in the context of his draft spot. He also is a key defensive winger and penalty-killer.
What This Means For The Future
Montreal will hope that he returns to his previous form as a good goal-scoring threat from the middle-six. It seems as though Montreal is crowded on the wings though, so expect him to play a bottom-line role. It’s unlikely that he will be a big scorer as he is unlikely to get power-play time but will be key on the penalty-kill.
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MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 02: Artturi Lehkonen #62 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at the Bell Centre on March 2, 2021, in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)