Maple Leafs defender Mikko Lehtonen terminates contract with Jokerit

Defenceman Mikko Lehtonen. (Mikko Taipale/Jokerit)

Finnish club Jokerit and defenceman Mikko Lehtonen have mutually agreed to terminate their contract, making Lehtonen available to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In May, the Maple Leafs signed Lehtonen to a one-year, entry-level deal worth $925,000. The 26-year-old has eight goals and 17 points in 17 games for Jokerit this season, his 10th as a professional.

He was an undrafted prospect that was part of Finland’s surprising gold-medal victory at the 2014 world junior championship, getting overshadowed by fellow 1994-born defencemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Olli Maatta.

Now, he figures to compete for top-six (if not top-four) time in the Maple Leafs' defence corps, among the likes of Travis Dermot, Justin Holl, Rasmus Sandin and T.J. Brodie.

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