Maple Leafs defender Mikko Lehtonen terminates contract with 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.