Ramblings: Leafs sign Lehtonen; Draft and expansion thoughts – May 5

Michael Clifford

2020-05-05

The Leafs signed defenceman Mikko Lehtonen to a one-year contract beginning in the 2020-21 season. The 26-year old left-shot blue liner led Jokerit in scoring in the KHL, no small feat from the back end. He is expected to battle for a spot on the third pair whenever the next season begins.

Readers can view Lehtonen's Dobber Prospects profile here.

Where Lehtonen fits in remains to be seen. He's a left shot, and as far as right-shot defencemen go, they have Cody Ceci (pending UFA), Tyson Barrie (also a pending UFA), and Justin Holl. If we assume that they just let the UFAs walk, there could be five LHD in the lineup next year, which would make it a lot easier for Lehtonen to crack the lineup (what they do with Timothy Liljegren is TBD). My assumption right now is that Lehtonen cracks the lineup, and with the scoring on that roster, it immediately puts him on fantasy radars. It could be on either the left or right side, let's just hope he plays closer to 19-20 minutes a night than 14-15.

Before making any firm declarations, let's wait and see how their offseason (whenever that is) shakes out. The UFAs may be back, they may trade for or sign someone else. There are still a lot of moving parts here.

*

Sticking with the Leafs, TSN announced their all-time Leafs team, with input from their panel of insiders and scouts. This is what it looks like: