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Maple Leafs Sign Defenseman Mikko Lehtonen

According to an official announcement from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization Monday morning, the team has signed former Kontinental Hockey League defenseman Mikko Lehtonen to a one-year entry-level contract.

According to an official announcement from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization Monday morning, the team has signed former Kontinental Hockey League defenseman Mikko Lehtonen to a one-year entry-level contract.

Arguably the best defenseman out of the KHL, this is a huge get for the organization during a time they need to re-shape their blue line and do so under serious salary cap restrictions.

Lehtonen scored 17 goals and led all KHL defencemen with 49 points in 60 games with Jokerit Helsinki this season. He added three assists in six playoff games and was named a KHL All-Star.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes about the signing:

Lehtonen is a left shot who played left side in KHL this season but he did play RD for FIN at last year’s World Championship. He’s a candidate, along with multiple others, to play RD but Travis Dermott is probably the LS D with the most experience/aptitude to play RS

At 26, he also represented Finland at the World Championships in 2017 and 2019 and was named the tournament All-Star in 2019 when his team won gold. He was named to Finland’s Olympic team in 2018 and won gold at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Related: The Reasons For and Against an NHL Draft in June

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