After strong start in KHL, Lehtonen 'pretty confident' of cracking Leafs lineup
Mikko Lehtonen is en route to Toronto.
The Maple Leafs defenceman mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Jokerit Helsinki of the KHL on Friday.
"Next stop for him is Toronto," the team said in a tweet announcing the move.
The 26-year-old posted eight goals and 17 points in 17 games with Jokerit this season, his second in the KHL. He signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs in May after a breakout first season with Jokerit, when he posted 17 goals and 49 points in 60 games.
With the Maple Leafs, Lehtonen will compete for a spot on the blueline among other off-season additions including T.J. Brodie and Zach Bogosian.
“I know the players they have signed and who they have, but I think it’s good to have good competition with the guys and it keeps it pretty honest,” Lehtonen said earlier this week. “I’m pretty confident. I feel pretty good. I’m in good shape and I trust myself, so I feel pretty confident.”
It's unclear when training camps will get underway for the upcoming NHL season. The league has set a Jan. 1 target for puck drop.