Just over a year before Artturi Lehkonen would have become a free agent, Montreal Canadien has signed him up on a standard 3-year entry level contract. The contract was signed on the 8th May 2016 and is another step up the rung for the talented player.

Training camp in September.

According to Canadiens manager Marc Bergevin, the professional Finnish hockey player had a lot of success at a young age playing in a “highly competitive league in Sweden.” Fansided reported that Bergevin is keen to see how well he does at the team training camp this coming September. He will be competing for a winger role.

Canadiens pre-date the NHL.

Playing for the Canadiens means that Lehkonen will be joining the top-ranked players who stretch back in history to 1909. The team has been running continuously for so long that they even pre-date the NHL itself. They have won 24 championships since 1927. Their motto, To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high, was adopted in 1915 following their first Stanley Cup Championship win. The motto comes from a poem written by John McCrae.

Previous experience.

Lehkonen’s selection by the Montreal Canadiensin the NHL 2013 entry draft was pre-dated by his Swedish hockey league play which saw him make 49 SHL appearances. He had previously played for the KalPaof the FinnishLiiga and made his debut with Finland’s national hockey team in the 2015-16 Euro Hockey Tour. The 20-year-old player received a bronze medal at the IIHF U18 World Championshipin Russia and a gold medal at the Malmo World Junior Championships.

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Game development.

Fansided speculated in an article on the Winning Habit Weblog on 9 May, that Lehkonen has the maturity, adaptability and a desire to learn that could see him “thrive with the Canadiens.” Manager Bergevin and head coach Therrien are known to take aggressive development tactics with some of their players. If they do so with Lehkonen, the chances are good that we will see him take a “significant “ role in next season's’ NHL.

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