Restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen has signed a five-year extension with the Colorado Avalanche after helping them win the Stanley Cup last month.
The contract runs through the 2026-27 season and carries an average annual value (AAV) of $4.5 million. The Avalanche have also brought back Valeri Nichushkin and Josh Manson over the past few days.
A Perfect Fit
Lehkonen set career highs in goals (19) and points (38) this past season. Acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the Trade Deadline in exchange for defensive prospect Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round draft pick, the 27-year-old was a key contributor to Colorado’s Stanley Cup run.
He recorded 14 points in 20 postseason games, including netting the series-clinching goal in both the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers and in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also scored the overtime goal that sent the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final last year. In the process, he became the second player in NHL history to score an overtime goal to put his team into the Stanley Cup Final multiple times in his career.
“Artturi was a great fit to our team last season and obviously played an essential role in our championship run,” said new Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland. “He is incredibly versatile, can play anywhere up and down the lineup. He has a non-stop motor and never takes a shift off. He’s really smart, highly competitive, knows his role no matter what is asked of him.”
A Well-Deserved Extension
Selected by Montreal in the second round (55th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Lehkonen has been the ultimate pro since joining the league.
Related: 2022 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
He plays the game the right way, does all the little things well, can excel in all situations on the ice, and adds great depth to a contending team, so it’s not a surprise that he has enjoyed success in Colorado. He was a very popular player in Montreal, both with his teammates and the fan base because of the effort he put forth every game.
His new extension and salary bump are entirely earned. He’ll help the Avalanche remain contenders for years to come. This contract is also one of the reasons why the Canadiens decided to move him because of their current salary cap constraints but were able to trade him to a team that suits him perfectly and allows him to play alongside his compatriot and good friend Mikko Rantanen.