2005-06: Jori Lehterä has been stigmatized as a solo artist in his junior years, so he settled with dominating opponents in domestic rinks, rarely considered for the national teams.
2006-07: Up to that time, Lehterä had formed a dynamic duo of equals with another skilled forward Kim Strömberg, but their parting of ways in 2006-07 revealed just how much Lehterä was ready to improve. He exceeded scoring expectations on every level he played that year, leading the Finnish Jr A league with 66 points, having played just 24 games. Lehterä missed the World Juniors Championships of 2007 with an injury.
2007-08: After transferring to Tappara for the 2007-08, Lehtera proved to be one of the top young play makers in the league – leading the team in assists (29) and plus/minus (+12). In fact, some scouts find it tough to rate some of his former teammates because anyone who’s played with him has put up numbers he otherwise might not have.
2008-09: Lehtera skated in 58 games with Tappara in the SM-liiga, scoring 9 goals, 38 assists for 47 points. He had a strong showing in Tappara's relegation playoffs, scoring 4 goals, 5 assists for 9 points in just 3 games. The center finished the season with Peoria in the AHL, scoring 1 assist in 7 regular season appearances and 1 goal, 1 assist in 7 playoff games.
2009-10: Lehtera returned to Tappara and the SM-liiga, scoring 19 goals, 50 assists for 69 points in 57 games. He also scored 1 goal and 9 assists in 9 playoff games for Tappara. He suited up for Finland at the World Championships, but was held off the scoresheet. Having led the league in assists and points during the regular season, Lehtera was named to the SM-liiga All-Star team. He received both the Lasse Oksanan Award for best regular season player and the coveted Golden Helmet award given to the league's top player.
2010-11: Lehtera went from Finland's SM-Liiga to the KHL in Russia and was a solid supplementary scorer for a Yaroslavl Lokomotiv lineup that featured former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Josef Vasicek and Karel Rachunek. Lehtera scored 16 goals with 21 assists and was +15 with 38 PMs in 53 games; scoring five times on the power play. Yaroslavl finished first in the Tarasov Division and advanced to the conference finals. In 18 playoff games Lehtera had 3 assists and was -2 with 14 PMs.
2011-12: Lehtera was off to a fast start in his second KHL season after going from Yaroslavl to Sibir Novosibirsk before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Playing alongside fellow Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko before Tarasenko was traded to SKA St. Petersburg, he scored 10 goals with 16 assists and was minus-nine with 10 penalty minutes in 25 games. Sibir missed the KHL playoffs, finishing last in the Chernyshev Division.
Lehterä combines some abilities of a large all-around centerman and a flamboyant scoring winger. Above all he is an adept stick handler able to move in small spaces and a gifted set-up man, combining positioning and passes to create scoring opportunities by himself if need be. On the top of it, Lehterä is a cold-blooded finisher at short range. On the downside, he hasn’t developed his defensive skills properly, although he isn’t too bad at the two-way game. He also remains too much on the receiving end of physical play. His most limiting factor is his questionable skating.
Lehtera is playing for Novosibirsk in the KHL.