Artturi Lehkonen
Image: KalPa

Artturi Lehkonen

Hometown:

Piikkiö Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1995-07-04

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

2nd round (55th overall), 2013

Weight:

172 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Artturi Lehkonen appeared in two games in Finland’s U20 SM-Liiga as a 15-year-old, represented Finland in the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge and was one of the top scorers for TPS Turku’s silver medal-winning U18 team. Playing for the TPS U20 team he had 1 assist and was minus-four in his brief stint. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist in five games for Team Finland at the WHC. Splitting the season between the TPS U18 and U20 teams, he scored 13 goals with 11 assists in 20 regular season U18 games. Lehkonen was second in points for TPS behind playmaking whiz Rasmus Kulmala in the playoffs and led the team with 8 goals in 13 games.

2011-12: Lehkonen had a breakout season, making his SM-Liiga debut with TPS, finishing as the fifth-leading scorer in Finland’s U20 elite league and capping the year by leading all players with seven goals at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. Lehkonen scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was minus-seven with eight penalty minutes in 18 regular season games for TPS and was minus-one with no points in two playoff games. He scored 28 goals with 26 assists in 40 games and was plus-22 with 54 penalty minutes during the regular season for TPS’ U20 team and scored 3 goals with 4 assists in four playoff games with TPS’ U18 team. Lehkonen shared the points lead for Team Finland with Tappara’s Henrik Haapala, scoring 7 goals with 3 assists and was plus-three with 6 penalty minutes in seven games at the U18 WJC. He was drafted by SKA St. Petersburg in the second round (57th overall) of the 2012 KHL Draft.

2012-13: Signed to a contract by KalPa following the 2011-12 season, Lehkonen was the Kuopio club’s second-leading scorer and represented Finland in the 2013 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored 14 goals with 16 assists in 45 regular season games and was plus-12 with 12 penalty minutes as KalPa finished fifth in the 14-team league. Lehkonen scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was minus-two in four playoff games. In six games for Finland’s U20 team he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was plus-five with 4 penalty minutes. He was one of the key players for Finland’s bronze medal-winning U18 squad, scoring 3 goals with 6 assists in seven games. Lehkonen was ranked ninth amongst European skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Montreal in the second round (55th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Lehkonen was the leading scorer for last-place KalPa Kuopio despite missing 27 games in his second Liiga season. He was an assistant captain for Finland’s gold medal U20 squad at the 2015 World Juniors. Lehkonen scored 7 goals with 13 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes, averaging 16:29 minutes of ice time in 33 games for KalPa. In six games for Finland at the WJC he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +7 with 2 penalty minutes. Finland defeated host Sweden in Stockholm, 3-2 in overtime, in the gold medal game. Lehkonen signed a contract to play in the SHL with Frolunda in 2014-15 in March 2014.

2014-15: Lehkonen provided supplementary scoring and strong defensive play for Frolunda in his first SHL season and skated in his third World Junior Championship for Finland. Unable to participate in on-ice activities at the Canadiens’ summer prospect camp while recovering from an off-season illness, he steadily worked his way back into condition. Lehkonen scored 8 goals with 8 assists and was +18 with 12 penalty minutes in 47 regular season games as Frolunda finished second behind Skelleftea. The Indians reached the playoff semifinals, falling to eventual champion Vaxjo. Lehkonen was Frolunda’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs — scoring 3 goals with 3 assists — and was +6 with no penalties, averaging 15:41 minutes of ice time in 13 playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 6 penalty minutes and was -1 in five games for Finland at the WJC. The defending champions finished seventh after a 6-3 loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals.

2015-16: Lehkonen had career highs in goals (16) and assists (17) in his fourth pro season playing in his second SHL season with Frolunda. He finished the regular season +6 with 12 penalty minutes, averaging 15:24 minutes of ice time in 49 regular season games. The Indians finished second to Skelleftea, with both teams advancing to the playoff finals. Lehkonen was leading Frolunda in scoring through 13 playoff games, scoring 8 goals with 6 assists with a +9 plus/minus and 2 penalty minutes.

Talent Analysis

Lehkonen is a speedy winger and a tenacious battler in the corners. He has a quality wrist shot that makes him a scoring threat whenever he can control the puck in the offensive zone. His defensive game requires improvement in order to compete at the pro level, although it is not much of a concern. He reads the play well and anticipates passes before they happen. As a smaller forward, Lehkonen will need to add more bulk to his frame in order to compete for and win those battles for the puck. If Lehkonen can add some muscle to his build, he'll be a more dangerous player going forward and could challenge for an NHL roster spot, due to his compete level and natural scoring ability.

Future

Lehkonen returned to Frolunda for his second SHL season in 2015-16, enjoying a successful season with the Indians and emerging as one of the team's scoring leaders in the playoffs. A jack-of-all-trades forward who will do all of the difficult jobs necessary to help his team win, Lehkonen has yet to sign an entry-level contract with Montreal but his play this season should spark interest. His lack of size could be an issue in the North American pro game but he projects as a responsible, two-way forward with some scoring ability.

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