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Artturi Lehkonen Debut With Avalanche Continues to Be Delayed

Forward Artturi Lehkonen has yet to play a game for the Colorado Avalanche thanks to visa issues.

The Colorado Avalanche traded for a forward in Artturi Lehkonen that a number of teams wanted. They’re expecting big contributions from the player as the NHL’s highest-ranking club makes their way into the postseason. Unfortunately, he’s yet to play a game for his new team thanks to visa issues.

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The Athletic’s Peter Baugh offered an update on Lehkonen’s immigration situation prior to a Sunday evening matchup with the Minnesota Wild. Lehkonen is reportedly “still in a holding pattern” with regard to his immigration paperwork, but the hope is that the issue is resolved by the time the puck drops at 6 pm EST.

The Avalanche gave up a 2024 second-round pick and defenseman Justin Barron, (the team’s 2020 first-round pick) to acquire Lehkonen, so they would like him to be playing. The longer he sits out, the less time he has to build chemistry with his new teammates. And, when you consider how many different roles a player like Lehkonen is expected to fill, the more the team can get him worked into their systems, the more success he’ll have, contributing at a more productive pace when games really matter.

 When he found out he was being traded to the Avs, Lehkonen said, “I’ll just try to bring my own style game, be good on both sides of the ice. … I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do.” Right now, the team needs him to simply play. He’s been skating and cleared from injuries. He just needs a chance to show what he can do.

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