Artturi Lehkonen
Artturi Lehkonen
24-Year-Old Left WingLW
Montreal Canadiens
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Lehkonen posted a career-high 31 points and 20 assists in 2018-19, but dropped to an even lower shooting percentage (6.3%) than the previous year (7.3%), after which there was already talk about him being unlucky. There's no doubt that he has a hard shot and can deliver it, but it's no longer an issue of luck. Rather, it's an issue of whether the 24-year-old forward can diversify and enhance his offense. We know he can bang home a rebound and convert net-front chances, but can he get into position on a rush, have his body ready to shoot, and not skate into traffic? To make matters worse, he has yet to show the poise necessary to cash in when presented with high-danger scoring opportunities. Lehkonen had a sub-par 7.28 shot percentage on 73 high-danger scoring chances last season. It's a good thing that he remains responsible defensively, which keeps him on the ice, but maybe the effort required to be a complete player has taken away from his goal-scoring acumen. Either way, fantasy owners can leave him on the wire until he's able to exhibit some consistency as a point producer. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $4.8 million contract with the Canadiens in July of 2019.
Logs game-winner Saturday
LWMontreal Canadiens
October 12, 2019
Lehkonen scored a goal on four shots and added three hits in Saturday's 6-3 win over the Blues.
Lehkonen's wraparound effort in the third period turned out to be the game-winning goal as the Habs put three pucks past Jordan Binnington to break open a close game. It was Lehkonen's first goal of the season, and he now has one point in four of the five games played to start 2018-19.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
On paper, it looks as though Lehkonen took a step back last season after an impressive rookie campaign. He had 12 goals and nine assists over 66 games in 2017-18, a regression from the 18/10 line he posted in 73 games the previous year. However, the last memory we have is that eight of his 21 points and seven of his 12 goals came in the final 15 games. A more meaningful silver lining than his finish is that Lehkonen was second on the team in individual scoring chances and third in high-danger opportunities, per Natural Stat Trick. A 7.3 shooting percentage, less than the league average, suggests the second-year forward was snakebitten. He plays both ends of the ice well, a trait near and dear to the heart of head coach Claude Julien, and that alone should get him top-six minutes and time on the power play. Lehkonen is someone to watch in 2018-19.
Lehkonen, a 2013 second-round draft pick, chose to spend the last few seasons in Europe instead of the American Hockey League. That was a wise choice, as he came to North America as a 21-year-old and showed off an advanced hockey IQ -- acquired by facing older competition in Scandinavia. He made a seamless transition to the smaller rinks, using an accurate and quick release to score 18 goals, and he was one of the Canadiens’ top players in the postseason. Both GM Michel Therrien and head coach Claude Julien seemed to trust him as a defensive forward, yet he exceeded expectations by evolving into an important secondary source of offense while playing mostly third-line minutes. With a year under his belt and perhaps some added heft to his frame, Lehkonen could earn a regular spot as a second-line left winger and thus has definite sleeper appeal heading into the 2017-18 campaign.
Lehkonen, a second-round draft pick in the 2013 draft, was the rookie of the year for Kalpa in Finland's SM-Liiga in 2012-13. He has high offensive talent, but adding some bulk will help him at the NHL level. The 18-year-old sniper will return to skate for Kalpa this coming season.
More Fantasy News
Begins with point streak
LWMontreal Canadiens
October 10, 2019
Lehkonen had an assist and a blocked shot over 16:52 of ice time in Wednesday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Sabres.
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Getting top-six minutes
LWMontreal Canadiens
September 19, 2019
Lehkonen had two assists, six shots and two hits in Thursday's preseason win over the Panthers.
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Scores in preseason opener
LWMontreal Canadiens
September 17, 2019
Lehkonen scored a goal on three shots in Monday's 4-2 preseason win over the Devils.
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Re-ups with Montreal
LWMontreal Canadiens
July 11, 2019
Lehkonen agreed to a two-year, $4.8 million contract with the Canadiens on Thursday.
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Seeking arbitration
LWMontreal Canadiens
July 5, 2019
Lehkonen filed for salary arbitration Friday.
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