Maple Leafs’ Mikko Lehtonen named KHL’s defenceman of the year


Defenceman Mikko Lehtonen. (Mikko Taipale/Jokerit)

The month of May continues to be one to remember for Mikko Lehtonen.

The 26-year-old was named the KHL’s Defenseman of the Year on Monday for his contributions during the 2019-20 campaign when he exploded for 49 points in 60 games with Jokerit Helsinki — the sixth-highest total of any player in the league.

The honour comes just a few weeks after he signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth $925,000, with hopes of a playing an integral role on the club’s blue line next season.

Darren Dietz captured the award in 2018-19.

The undrafted Lehtonen — who hails from Turku, Finland — broke out at last year’s world championships where he played a starring role in a surprising Finnish gold-medal win and earned a spot on the tournament all-star team.


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