The Toronto Maple Leafs were up early this morning, working on filling out the depth for next season. They announced the signing of Mikko Lehtonen to a one-year Entry Level Contract.

Lehtonen is a 26-year-old left-shooting defender who spent the previous season with Jokerit Helsinki of the KHL. He has an offensive side to his game, scoring 49 points in 60 games last season, and has won gold for Finland at the 2014 World Juniors and the 2019 World Championships.

He’s played in multiple top leagues in Europe, spending time in Liiga, the SHL, and KHL, and made his professional debut before he won the World Juniors.

With the defense corps for the Leafs pretty much settled up top, and a few young players fighting for the bottom pairing - Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren - it will be tight getting Lehtonen into the lineup. The battle will come in training camp, whenever that is, and we’ll be able to get a good look at the newest Maple Leaf then.

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports the deal has no signing bonuses:

Finnish hockey commentator Jokke Nevalainen suggests Lehtonen might be a bona fide player in the NHL. Whether the implication about Rasmus Sandin is valid, well, we’ll see.

Highlights are in the video below, interview has no captions though.

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