Artturi Lehkonen Earns New Deal After Impressive Playoff Performance

Artturi Lehkonen
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The Colorado Avalanche re-signed restricted free agent right winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year contract worth $22.5million, or $4.5 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2026-27 season.

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Artturi Lehkonen Re-Signs With Avalanche

Over his six-year NHL career, Lehkonen played thus far for the Montreal Canadiens and Avalanche. The Habs drafted him back in 2013 with their second-round, 55th overall selection. He left Montreal via trade at this past year’s trade deadline. Montreal, sitting in the cellar of the Eastern Conference without a playoff hope for the year, moved him to the playoff-bound Avs. Before the deal, he accumulated 29 points in 58 games as a Canadien. Then, he added nine points for the Avs, bringing his totals to 19 goals and 19 assists for 36 points in 74 games. More interestingly, his possession numbers went from -1.0% relative Corsi with the Canadiens to a strong 5.9% with Colorado.

In total, Lehkonen amassed 80 goals and 78 assists for 158 points through 412 career games. While he doesn’t yet have a 20-goal season, he’s scratched the surface a couple of times, wrapping seasons with 18 and 19 goals each. A full 82-game campaign would do the trick, but the 26-year-old could also very well have his best hockey still ahead of him. That appears especially true after his exceptional breakout play in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

What This Means for the Future

Getting a contract signed for Lehkonen brings back one of many Avs players on expiring deals this summer. Lehkonen scored some big goals for the Canadiens a season earlier in their Cinderella run to the Cup Final. That run attracted the eye of General Manager Joe Sakic at this past year’s trade deadline. Lehkonen’s forechecking and relentlessness frustrates his opponents, consistently forcing turnovers and hounding defencemen in their own zone.

Sakic hoped Lehkonen would fit in nicely, but even he couldn’t have imagined just how nicely the match would turn out in reality. In the playoffs, Lehkonen laced up for more games than he did in the regular season for Colorado. More impressively, his point total sat near a point-per-game pace. He scored some massive goals, including the game-winning overtime goal that sent Colorado to the Stanley Cup Final. His new contract reflects the step-up he displayed in the run over the last couple of months. And without a doubt, expectations raised significantly for the developing young forward reaching the prime of his career.

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