Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars announced Tuesday they have agreed to a three-year, $10.65 million contract extension with goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
The deal will keep the 26-year-old Lehtonen with the Stars through the 2012-13 season.
Lehtonen, the second overall pick behind Rick Nash in 2002, played in just 12 games for the Stars last season after undergoing back surgery. Dallas acquired the veteran netminder from the Atlanta Thrashers in February in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a fourth-round draft choice in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
"We were excited to acquire Kari Lehtonen in February because of his size, skill and potential to once again be a top-tier goaltender in this league," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. "His play during the last month of the season reaffirmed our belief that he can be our starter for next year and seasons to come. We're very happy to agree to terms with Kari on this contract extension."
Lehtonen went 6-4-0 last season, improving his overall record to 100-87-17 in 216 games -- 206 starts. The Helsinki, Finland native has accumulated 14 career shutouts and has a 2.87 goals against average and .912 save percentage.
He has played over 50 games just once in his career, when he went 34-24-9 in 68 games with Atlanta en route to leading the club to the Southeast Division title during the 2006-07 campaign.