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Maple Leafs News and Views => Main Leafs Hockey Talk => Topic started by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:01:33 AM

Title: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:01:33 AM

Haha haha of course
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:05:00 AM
In case you weren’t following the past couple of days:

Lehtonen parted ways amicably with Jokerit/KHL late last week with the intention of continuing his career in the NHL. He was the top defender last season in points and had a multi-team bidding war going on including the Devils, Kings, and Habs.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 09:05:53 AM
Woah this came out of nowhere. I remember reading that this guy was supposed to be pretty decent but never really looked closely because the Leafs weren't being linked to him.

A lefty though, weird.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:09:45 AM
I was considering sharing the tweet about him terminating his contract with Jokerit last week, but Rielly, Muzzin, Dermott, Sandin, Kivihalme, Rosen, Marincin said, hey wait.

https://dobberprospects.com/player/mikko-lehtonen/
Quote
Lehtonen is also not just a pure offensive player who would be a liability defensively. He’s not a defensive stud but he plays an NHL level two-way game already. He is also a very good skater which obviously helps matters. He is expected to be NHL ready right away with no time needed in the AHL. Most likely he’ll start on the bottom pair and play on the second power play unit but he could work his way up to the second pair depending on the team he signs with.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 09:15:05 AM
Tired: We should move Dermott to RD

Wired: We should move Dermott AND Rielly to RD

Muzzin-Rielly
Sandin-Dermott
Lehtonen-Holl
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:22:55 AM
I think Dermott might be in the middle of a pretty good trade package.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 09:32:11 AM
I think Dermott might be in the middle of a pretty good trade package.

Yeah I think he's one of the more likely guys to get traded this offseason. Especially after this signing.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 09:41:47 AM
I think Dermott might be in the middle of a pretty good trade package.

Yeah I think he's one of the more likely guys to get traded this offseason. Especially after this signing.

I'm not one to usually say this signing now makes that other player expendable because they play the same spot. It's okay to have multiple good players!

But between Muzzin, Rielly, and Sandin, Dermott doesn't really have any standout capability warranting cap space and ice time at this juncture. Especially since he is in the sweet spot of development with a pedigree of junior/AHL success, a combination of Dermott + Kapanen is a very attractive trade package.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bates on May 04, 2020, 10:26:25 AM
?s=19
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 10:35:14 AM
Noice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpVxZltSjUg
Just from the highlights, which is a very small sample (especially for assessing a defenseman), he does attack both sides of the ice efficiently by creeping into space. His wrist shot is the favoured approach to the net, but he also plays heads up instead of blindly firing slappers from as far away as possible. Might just be survivor bias though, as no one is scoring from the corner pockets, and thus would not appear on the highlights.

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on May 04, 2020, 10:39:41 AM

This will be an excellent addition for the 2020-21 season which will definitely take place.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on May 04, 2020, 10:45:51 AM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 10:48:57 AM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 10:52:33 AM

Invalid Tweet IDBasically every LHD coming through the SHL system has spent time playing the right side
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 10:58:42 AM

Dude's a skater
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: WAYNEINIONA on May 04, 2020, 11:24:59 AM

What? Maple Leafs news! I read all 14 posts three times.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 11:40:36 AM
https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2020/05/04/toronto-maple-leafs-sign-mikko-lehtonen-to-one-year-entry-level-contract/
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zee on May 04, 2020, 12:18:16 PM
Apparently Habs fans wanted this guy, so I'm good with this move
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Rob on May 04, 2020, 12:23:49 PM
Apparently Habs fans wanted this guy, so I'm good with this move

"You want Lehtonen? Well we're signing Lehtonen."
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 01:41:18 PM

A couple of points that I thought were worth repeating from this:

1) His coach from this season says he thinks Lehtonen is best on his strong side (left) and that he played with a fellow lefty who moved to the right on his KHL team. I don't think that 100% guarantees that he won't be able to play on the right side here, but if he stuck on the left there even when his team was short on righties I think that makes it unlikely.

2) It's noted that he didn't take any performance bonuses in his deal. That was the same for Mikheyev and Barbanov. Considering he's got some hype behind him I'd imagine a number of other teams would have been offering contracts with performance bonuses so he likely took less to sign here.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 01:43:29 PM
With that said as I posted that this tweet was written:

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on May 04, 2020, 02:09:23 PM
Woah this came out of nowhere. I remember reading that this guy was supposed to be pretty decent but never really looked closely because the Leafs weren't being linked to him.

A lefty though, weird.

Isn't it weird that these days we can be not even linked to a player that's being jostled over and we come out the winner? Pleasant surprise! I wonder if Dubas said hey, we're the richest team in the game and we can front load everything and protect the hell out of you, even during a pandemic such as this, no matter what happens.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on May 04, 2020, 02:17:04 PM
Apparently Habs fans wanted this guy, so I'm good with this move

Do you think Montreal having the worst current COVID outbreak in Canada played a role?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 02:45:41 PM
Apparently Habs fans wanted this guy, so I'm good with this move

Do you think Montreal having the worst current COVID outbreak in Canada played a role?

I think it's more likely that he just didn't want to play on a crappy team.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 02:48:27 PM

Quote
When Lauri Marjamaki was coaching the Finnish national team, he always found Mikko Lehtonen to be a particularly keen student.

They would speak occasionally in Tampere about the defenceman’s growth and it wasn’t only the coach doing the talking. Lehtonen wanted to know what Marjamaki saw in the details of his game. He’d ask for development targets.

“He wants to all the time know,” Marjamaki recalled Monday. “I think that it is one of the reasons why he is now so good because he is so motivated all the time and he needs so much feedback from the coaches and everyone.”

This (and the playstyle fit) probably is the reason why Lehtonen chose Dubas and the Leafs over other outfits. We're collecting hockey nerds.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on May 04, 2020, 04:50:03 PM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on May 04, 2020, 06:02:02 PM
Apparently Habs fans wanted this guy, so I'm good with this move

Do you think Montreal having the worst current COVID outbreak in Canada played a role?

I think it's more likely that he just didn't want to play on a crappy team.

I'm wondering if Lehtonen/his agent basically looked at the Leafs' talent pool on D, as well as overall organizational strengths, and determined he'd likely have the best shot to play meaningful larger market/higher profile NHL minutes above the 4th pairing.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Groundskeeper Willie on May 04, 2020, 06:06:07 PM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on May 04, 2020, 06:16:35 PM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.

https://www.purehockey.com/c/why-are-so-many-hockey-players-left-handed

Some interesting stats in there.

My admittedly old-timer theory is that when when my generation were kids, the majority of sticks were right handed, and basically, sticks were passed down and we learned to use whatever was available. On my old-timer team, I'd say 75% of us are right shots.

Kids now often seem to get new equipment to start the sport, or at least, have more choice in the matter.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 04, 2020, 07:11:26 PM
I'm wondering if Lehtonen/his agent basically looked at the Leafs' talent pool on D, as well as overall organizational strengths, and determined he'd likely have the best shot to play meaningful larger market/higher profile NHL minutes above the 4th pairing.

I'm not sure if that's true though. Right now on the Leafs he's probably 5th among LHD behind Rielly, Muzzin, Dermott, and Sandin. Obviously players can slide to the right or get traded to make room for him to move up, but as things stand at this very moment he's got a lot of competition ahead of him. Compare the Leafs LHD depth chart to Montreal or New Jersey's, the two teams that seemed to be the front runners for him. The Leafs blow what they currently have signed for next season out of the water.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on May 04, 2020, 10:16:49 PM

He'll be the third Mikko Lehtonen in the NHL. There's also been a Mikko Lahtinen and Miikka Lehtonen.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 04, 2020, 10:29:29 PM

He'll be the third Mikko Lehtonen in the NHL. There's also been a Mikko Lahtinen and Miikka Lehtonen.

Kari Lehtonen’s kid is also Mikko but he’s much more smol
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 05, 2020, 09:29:39 AM
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/mikko-lehtonens-versatility-shake-maple-leafs-defence/
Quote
Although Kyle Dubas wouldn’t commit to a pairing or position for his latest European prize in 2020-21, the general manager underscored Lehtonen’s versatility as a bonus.

“I played in Sweden a whole season on the right side [with HV71 Jonkoping in 2018-19], so it’s not important to me. Doesn’t matter, right or left side, I’m OK with both. Actually, sometimes I like more right side,” Lehtonen said on a conference call Monday.

https://theathletic.com/1792789/2020/05/05/the-video-scouting-report-on-new-maple-leafs-defenceman-mikko-lehtonen/
Quote
Lehtonen played alongside three primary defence partners this season: righty Alex Grant and lefties David Sklenicka and Viktor Loov. What’s noteworthy about that is that with both Loov and Sklenicka, Lehtonen played the majority of his shifts on the left side. Though Lehtonen does have some experience on his off-side he can lean on if the Leafs ask, it’s definitely worth noting that he wasn’t asked to do that in the KHL, despite playing on a team that also had a predominantly left-handed defence. His ability to play his off-side could dictate his ability to win minutes with the Leafs.

Lehtonen can also kill penalties. It’s easy to look at his production, assume he was deployed in offensive situations and wonder whether he’ll be able to help out a power play that ranked 21st in the NHL this season. He’s not a big shot-blocker, but he can hold his own on the penalty kill.

I’ll be interested to see what he weighs in at with the Leafs because, despite the fact he’s only 6-foot, he looks heavy out there and he plays like it too. And that has helped him defensively in recent years.

[...]

The one quality of his game that stands out is his long-range, one-timer. This is something the Leafs have lacked in recent years. Though Morgan Rielly led all NHL defencemen in goals two years ago, he did it with a wrister. And though Tyson Barrie has long been one of the NHL’s more prolific scoring defencemen, he has done it more as a volume shooter than as a shot threat. Lehtonen’s game definitely resembles Barrie’s in the shot-volume category. He shoots a little too much and that was reflected in his 184 shots on goal (second among all KHL defencemen) this season.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on May 05, 2020, 09:33:51 AM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.

My daughter started skating at 3 and playing at 4. I gave her a straight stick at all times(road hockey, hitting a ball around the recroom, etc; ) She appeared to be leaning towards being right handed shot, but once we put her on the ice with a stick, she flipped to the left side.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on May 05, 2020, 09:35:49 AM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.

https://www.purehockey.com/c/why-are-so-many-hockey-players-left-handed

Some interesting stats in there.

My admittedly old-timer theory is that when when my generation were kids, the majority of sticks were right handed, and basically, sticks were passed down and we learned to use whatever was available. On my old-timer team, I'd say 75% of us are right shots.

Kids now often seem to get new equipment to start the sport, or at least, have more choice in the matter.

I'm not sure how true that is. I always recommend giving a kid a straight stick to start and letting them choose. You can tell almost immediately which side they prefer.
In baseball, I tried to get my daughter to hit from the right side of the plate....she went to the left. I also tried to get her to hit right in golf.....She would have none of it.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on May 05, 2020, 09:47:15 AM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.

My daughter started skating at 3 and playing at 4. I gave her a straight stick at all times(road hockey, hitting a ball around the recroom, etc; ) She appeared to be leaning towards being right handed shot, but once we put her on the ice with a stick, she flipped to the left side.

I just felt being a right shot was natural but it really makes no sense since I catch left, I should be a left shot (especially if you wanted to be a goalie). Also strong hand should be on the butt end. Ah whatever!
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 05, 2020, 09:56:33 AM
Athletic: "Lehtonen played alongside three primary defence partners this season: righty Alex Grant and lefties David Sklenicka and Viktor Loov"

Sportsnet: Lehtonen's "main defensive partner with Jokerit was Sami Lepisto"

Toronto media writing about players they didn't know existed 4 days ago is fun.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on May 05, 2020, 01:35:48 PM
It appears RHDs don't exist anywhere on this planet.

I actually wonder how many Crazy Hockey Dads are giving their kids right-handed sticks when they first start to play for this reason.

On a whole, there's not many right handed players any more. Probably 2 or 3 to 1, Lefties to Righties on any team I've every coached. Out of 15 skaters this past season I had 2. Both forwards. The year before I had 3. All defence.
I've heard it said that the earlier a kid starts the more likely they are to be left handed. It has something to do with younger kids preferring their dominant hand at the top and older kids naturally putting it mid stick, and most people are right hand dominant.

The study was done to understand why traditionally Canada produces more lefties and the rest of the world always had more righties. That's changing now though, even in Canada kids are starting earlier than they used to. Most people I know started their kids at 3 years old. Mine started at 4 and even that seemed earlier than necessary. I started at 5 when I was little, but there's real pressure to get them going as soon as they can.

My daughter started skating at 3 and playing at 4. I gave her a straight stick at all times(road hockey, hitting a ball around the recroom, etc; ) She appeared to be leaning towards being right handed shot, but once we put her on the ice with a stick, she flipped to the left side.

I just felt being a right shot was natural but it really makes no sense since I catch left, I should be a left shot (especially if you wanted to be a goalie). Also strong hand should be on the butt end. Ah whatever!

I was a goalie. I throw with my right/catch with my left. My right is my dominant hand and it's the hand I hold the stick with. I shoot left(right hand as control hand on stick).

I really have no theory as to why right handed players numbers are down. Perhaps so much more focus is being put on the flex of sticks when shooting.  :-\
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on May 06, 2020, 12:16:53 PM
I just watched the Athletic tape review of Lehtonen, he is not flashy at all, the word I would use is "Steady", very collected with the puck and makes the short pass very well, although he can stretch it when he needs to.  Excellent puck carrier. I think he will settle things down out there.  Hope he can play the RHS, like to see him paired with Rielly.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: princedpw on May 06, 2020, 04:59:23 PM
I just watched the Athletic tape review of Lehtonen, he is not flashy at all, the word I would use is "Steady", very collected with the puck and makes the short pass very well, although he can stretch it when he needs to.  Excellent puck carrier. I think he will settle things down out there.  Hope he can play the RHS, like to see him paired with Rielly.

I saw the clips too.  A bunch of point shots, skating the puck up through relatively open ice to the opposing blue line and dumping it in.  Is he as good as Zaitsev? Better? Worse? I have no idea. I don’t think his offense is going to be any better than Dermott’s though.  He won’t get PP time (or if he does, it’s unlikely to make the pp any better than the next guy) and he won’t score often on those point shots.

How good is his gap control? Can he make a pass when pressured by NHL forwards. Can he prevent passes to the slot? I wish I knew!  But he’s another chance at a decent 4-7 d which is a good thing to have at $950K.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on May 06, 2020, 09:24:37 PM
I just watched the Athletic tape review of Lehtonen, he is not flashy at all, the word I would use is "Steady", very collected with the puck and makes the short pass very well, although he can stretch it when he needs to.  Excellent puck carrier. I think he will settle things down out there.  Hope he can play the RHS, like to see him paired with Rielly.

I saw the clips too.  A bunch of point shots, skating the puck up through relatively open ice to the opposing blue line and dumping it in.  Is he as good as Zaitsev? Better? Worse? I have no idea. I don’t think his offense is going to be any better than Dermott’s though.  He won’t get PP time (or if he does, it’s unlikely to make the pp any better than the next guy) and he won’t score often on those point shots.

How good is his gap control? Can he make a pass when pressured by NHL forwards. Can he prevent passes to the slot? I wish I knew!  But he’s another chance at a decent 4-7 d which is a good thing to have at $950K.
Hard to be worse than Zaitsev.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on May 07, 2020, 10:15:37 AM
I just watched the Athletic tape review of Lehtonen, he is not flashy at all, the word I would use is "Steady", very collected with the puck and makes the short pass very well, although he can stretch it when he needs to.  Excellent puck carrier. I think he will settle things down out there.  Hope he can play the RHS, like to see him paired with Rielly.

I saw the clips too.  A bunch of point shots, skating the puck up through relatively open ice to the opposing blue line and dumping it in.  Is he as good as Zaitsev? Better? Worse? I have no idea. I don’t think his offense is going to be any better than Dermott’s though.  He won’t get PP time (or if he does, it’s unlikely to make the pp any better than the next guy) and he won’t score often on those point shots.

How good is his gap control? Can he make a pass when pressured by NHL forwards. Can he prevent passes to the slot? I wish I knew!  But he’s another chance at a decent 4-7 d which is a good thing to have at $950K.

I don't know that the Leafs should be looking for another defencemen to play the PP.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 07, 2020, 11:21:58 AM
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-will-nhl-broadcasts-look-season-resumes/

Quote
18) Boy, were some teams sour at the Maple Leafs landing Finnish defender Mikko Lehtonen. There was a lot of interest. I’d be lying if I said I’ve seen much of him, but his talent is widely respected. Jokerit indicated he had another year left on his contract, so several potential NHL destinations peeled off. Toronto was persistent.

Another team indicated they were told Lehtonen would be let out of his contract if he found a situation he wanted. That fits with a second organization indicating that when Jokerit announced Lehtonen’s release, he already knew where he was going.

"Some teams" lol try a little harder next time Bergevin.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: princedpw on May 07, 2020, 04:42:51 PM
I just watched the Athletic tape review of Lehtonen, he is not flashy at all, the word I would use is "Steady", very collected with the puck and makes the short pass very well, although he can stretch it when he needs to.  Excellent puck carrier. I think he will settle things down out there.  Hope he can play the RHS, like to see him paired with Rielly.

I saw the clips too.  A bunch of point shots, skating the puck up through relatively open ice to the opposing blue line and dumping it in.  Is he as good as Zaitsev? Better? Worse? I have no idea. I don’t think his offense is going to be any better than Dermott’s though.  He won’t get PP time (or if he does, it’s unlikely to make the pp any better than the next guy) and he won’t score often on those point shots.

How good is his gap control? Can he make a pass when pressured by NHL forwards. Can he prevent passes to the slot? I wish I knew!  But he’s another chance at a decent 4-7 d which is a good thing to have at $950K.

I don't know that the Leafs should be looking for another defencemen to play the PP.

I agree — his high KHL point totals aren’t really relevant.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zee on May 08, 2020, 02:14:05 PM
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-will-nhl-broadcasts-look-season-resumes/

Quote
18) Boy, were some teams sour at the Maple Leafs landing Finnish defender Mikko Lehtonen. There was a lot of interest. I’d be lying if I said I’ve seen much of him, but his talent is widely respected. Jokerit indicated he had another year left on his contract, so several potential NHL destinations peeled off. Toronto was persistent.

Another team indicated they were told Lehtonen would be let out of his contract if he found a situation he wanted. That fits with a second organization indicating that when Jokerit announced Lehtonen’s release, he already knew where he was going.

"Some teams" lol try a little harder next time Bergevin.

I don't get the "being sour" at the Leafs.  Every team had the same opportunity to court this guy, the Leafs can't help it if your scouts/GM are crappy at wooing guys.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on May 08, 2020, 05:57:18 PM
Don't care what other teams think. Bitches going to whine. He's ours, hope it works out!
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: lamajama on May 08, 2020, 10:15:18 PM
EVERY other team bitches about the Leafs. It’s almost required.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on May 09, 2020, 07:48:27 AM
I don't get the "being sour" at the Leafs.

I think it's pretty clear from the way that sentence is written that they're disappointed at the way events played out, not upset with the Leafs.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: RedLeaf on May 17, 2020, 11:10:56 AM
Just looking over some of his highlights and what stands out to me is his point shot. Seems to find the way to the back of the net a lot.

Let’s hope we see more of that with the Leafs!
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: RedLeaf on May 18, 2020, 10:02:17 AM
https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/maple-leafs-mikko-lehtonen-named-khls-defenceman-year/?template=basic&template=basic
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: princedpw on May 18, 2020, 10:52:59 AM
Just looking over some of his highlights and what stands out to me is his point shot. Seems to find the way to the back of the net a lot.

Let’s hope we see more of that with the Leafs!

Yeah, certainly not a bad skill to have, but I just don't think too many goals are scored that way any more in the NHL.  I'm waiting to see if he can pass the puck out of the dzone and play a tight gap.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 18, 2020, 12:35:05 PM
Best not to draw too many conclusions from a highlight pack, especially for defensemen, as they're normally centered on (relatively rare) scoring plays and it's hard to gauge the frequency these plays happen (we do have a raw count of his points...) as it just leads to survivor bias; unless it's like a Mitch Marner OHL highlight reel where it's over 40 minutes long for a whole season.

The highlight video is good at showcasing Lehtonen's skating ability and puck movement and vision, but it won't show all the times he took pot-shots from the blueline corner at the expense of better options (Barrie-ing it) if that's a thing he does (Scott Wheeler thinks so). It also doesn't show what princedpw was looking for in gap control because no one makes a highlight reel where nothing happens for public consumption.

All I have been able to surmise is Lehtonen skates really well (2nd most distance traveled in the KHL last season), is relied on by his rather good team for offense (as well as defensive minutes), and has a good wrist and slap shot that can beat some goalies if he takes them in prime locations. His profile to me reads like a more defensively responsible Calle Rosen (who started out as an overshooter). Some promising data from the KHL player tracking information shows he completes a lot of passes, especially to his forwards, which is exactly the type of defenseman the Leafs could use.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 19, 2020, 08:55:39 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on May 19, 2020, 08:59:38 AM
Best not to draw too many conclusions from a highlight pack, especially for defensemen, as they're normally centered on (relatively rare) scoring plays and it's hard to gauge the frequency these plays happen (we do have a raw count of his points...) as it just leads to survivor bias;

I'll never forget this tweet, which used Ben Harpur's one (1) NHL goal in 103 games to make it seem like he's a player who likes to jump into the rush:

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on May 19, 2020, 10:04:01 AM
Best not to draw too many conclusions from a highlight pack, especially for defensemen, as they're normally centered on (relatively rare) scoring plays and it's hard to gauge the frequency these plays happen (we do have a raw count of his points...) as it just leads to survivor bias;
I'll never forget this tweet, which used Ben Harpur's one (1) NHL goal in 103 games to make it seem like he's a player who likes to jump into the rush

I did a quick YouTube search of Ben Harpur. Highlights came up as a suggestion about 8 down (after ben harpur music). His longest highlights related video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5ly1xx0Ivo) is 3:50 from before he was called up to the NHL and it is only that long because it was an interview. It was worth the watch though because my favourite son-in-law makes a brief appearance (0:39-0:51).
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 05, 2020, 12:30:18 PM
Lehtonen is on loan to Jokerit, who played their first actual game of the season after boycotting their Belarus/Minsk season opener. Lehtonen gets their first goal of the season off a delayed drag release.

Reference to the game opening goal by former Leaf prospect Martins Dzierkals as well

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 05, 2020, 01:22:59 PM
Completed passes is something that the NHL probably should have been tracking for years, even before this analytics boom. Would it really be significantly more difficult to track than shots/hits/blocks/giveaways/takeaways?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on September 05, 2020, 01:42:52 PM
Completed passes is something that the NHL probably should have been tracking for years, even before this analytics boom. Would it really be significantly more difficult to track than shots/hits/blocks/giveaways/takeaways?
That could be useful and they could take it even further. D zone, O zone, high/low skill.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on September 05, 2020, 02:58:37 PM
Completed passes is something that the NHL probably should have been tracking for years, even before this analytics boom. Would it really be significantly more difficult to track than shots/hits/blocks/giveaways/takeaways?

No, but I think it'd really be about as useful as those stats. As Guilt Trip says to have real value you'd need to break down where those passes were and you're left with something similar to the giveaway problem where a pass might not be completed but due to the fault of the player receiving the pass.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 05, 2020, 03:26:12 PM
Single game individual metrics are nothing too interesting.

With the full data set, you could make some inferences to start quantifying defensive skill, system efficacy:
DZ on-ice pass completion percentage for opponents
OZ on-ice pass completion and avg team o-zone time per shift
DZ and OZ on-ice time between shot events (rebound clearing, generating) after unblocked shots from above the circles

The art is in figuring out which micro-events in the aggregate lead to season-long success
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 09, 2020, 11:53:41 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 09, 2020, 11:56:13 AM
I really wish we had a better idea of what this guy could provide at the NHL level.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 09, 2020, 12:24:23 PM
I really wish we had a better idea of what this guy could provide at the NHL level.

He skates really well, is relied on for every phase of play on a good team in the KHL. Has a good shot (might be an overshooter as he led his team in SOG) but also has a nose for getting into soft ice for those chances. Led their team last season in playoff TOI so that likely means he was matched up against top offenses. Has played RD, but not super much; reads like Rielly in terms of usage and rovery-ness but a more straightfoward style compared to Rielly's dynamic shifts of speed.

In Keefe's activated D system, that makes sense (sort of why Dubas went with Barrie for plan B). High centre and D creeping to the circles on the regular (2Forward/3Back config) means the Lehtonen's style is likely a fit.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frank E on September 09, 2020, 01:10:58 PM
Zaitsev 2.0.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 09, 2020, 01:23:11 PM
Scouting reports are nice and all but I mean I want to know if he's a #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, or #8 NHL defenceman and I want to know now.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on September 09, 2020, 01:28:43 PM

It just burns me whenever people post to Twitter in their native language.  Pony up in English or stay the hell off the Internet (which, you'll note, is an ENGLISH word and that's why Al Gore made it the official language of his invention).
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 09, 2020, 01:37:44 PM
I am deliberately only pulling up Finnish/Russian tweets now

Okay fine, I couldn't find this angle in Finnish or Russian
The opposing team and goaltender are ass-butt, but dude just went far post and in with a backhander from the weak side when the goalie gave him all of the short corner.
2G 1A as part of a 6-0 romp so far
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on September 09, 2020, 04:07:56 PM
I mean I guess that's better than him sucking?  ;)
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 11, 2020, 07:17:38 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 11, 2020, 08:26:40 AM
That sucks, but props to the league for having a mandatory 14 day quarantine for that.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 11, 2020, 09:21:59 AM
That sucks, but props to the league for having a mandatory 14 day quarantine for that.

Mikko Kokkonen's Liiga team (Jukurit) also has suspended play due to multiple positive cases.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on September 11, 2020, 10:20:53 AM
That sucks, but props to the league for having a mandatory 14 day quarantine for that.

Mikko Kokkonen's Liiga team (Jukurit) also has suspended play due to multiple positive cases.
Ugh.

Sent from my SM-G986W using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on September 11, 2020, 12:31:33 PM
Don't know why there is not more excitement about Lehtonen. Not saying he is going to be the next coming of Jesus but he was just proclaimed the best D-Man in the KHL.  Not exactly a slouch league.
I am hoping he is a pleasant surprise.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 11, 2020, 01:44:59 PM
That sucks, but props to the league for having a mandatory 14 day quarantine for that.

It sounds like this is actually the result of Finnish regulations, not the KHL per se.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: bustaheims on September 11, 2020, 01:49:09 PM
Don't know why there is not more excitement about Lehtonen. Not saying he is going to be the next coming of Jesus but he was just proclaimed the best D-Man in the KHL.  Not exactly a slouch league.
I am hoping he is a pleasant surprise.

I mean, we've been burned by this a few times before - Ozhiganov, Zaitsev, Frogren, etc. I don't think you can blame people for being a little more guarded about Lehtonen.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frank E on September 11, 2020, 01:52:43 PM
Don't know why there is not more excitement about Lehtonen. Not saying he is going to be the next coming of Jesus but he was just proclaimed the best D-Man in the KHL.  Not exactly a slouch league.
I am hoping he is a pleasant surprise.

I mean, we've been burned by this a few times before - Ozhiganov, Zaitsev, Frogren, etc. I don't think you can blame people for being a little more guarded about Lehtonen.

Borgman, Rosen...
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on September 11, 2020, 02:29:52 PM
Don't know why there is not more excitement about Lehtonen. Not saying he is going to be the next coming of Jesus but he was just proclaimed the best D-Man in the KHL.  Not exactly a slouch league.
I am hoping he is a pleasant surprise.

I mean, we've been burned by this a few times before - Ozhiganov, Zaitsev, Frogren, etc. I don't think you can blame people for being a little more guarded about Lehtonen.

Borgman, Rosen...
I liked Borgman and I think he could have been a 6th or 7th d man. Problem was he's on the left side and there simply wasn't room. He just turned 25 in June. Funny seems like he's been around longer. We'll see how Lehtonen turns out. Looks like he's a player but like always, we'll see how it turns out.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 11, 2020, 02:42:39 PM
As someone who is trying to be very cautious about Lehtonen's NHL projections I will say none of those defencemen ever scored anywhere near what Lehtonen did last season and none of them were named their leagues top defenceman.

That doesn't mean his play will definitely translate to the NHL level, but he's definitely got a better track record than the other guys we tried plucking out of Europe.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frank E on September 11, 2020, 02:48:51 PM
As someone who is trying to be very cautious about Lehtonen's NHL projections I will say none of those defencemen ever scored anywhere near what Lehtonen did last season and none of them were named their leagues top defenceman.

That doesn't mean his play will definitely translate to the NHL level, but he's definitely got a better track record than the other guys we tried plucking out of Europe.

Wasn't Zaitsev considered one of the best in the KHL?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: bustaheims on September 11, 2020, 03:01:42 PM
As someone who is trying to be very cautious about Lehtonen's NHL projections I will say none of those defencemen ever scored anywhere near what Lehtonen did last season and none of them were named their leagues top defenceman.

That doesn't mean his play will definitely translate to the NHL level, but he's definitely got a better track record than the other guys we tried plucking out of Europe.

Yeah. That's true. His offensive production has definitely been more prolific. I'm more confident he'll be a viable NHL blueliner. I just don't expect he'll be much more than that.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 11, 2020, 03:05:57 PM
Wasn't Zaitsev considered one of the best in the KHL?

Zaitsev's track record prior to the NHL would certainly be closer to Lehtonen's than a Rosen or a Borgman yeah. But I'd also say as much as we grumble about Zaitsev he's played almost 300 NHL games. As long as he fulfills his contract he's almost certainly going to play 500+ NHL games. He's both overpaid and overplayed but I mean neither of those things are really his fault. He shouldn't be lumped into the group of failed European signings. If we got a Zaitsev that's better offensively that'd be a pretty good signing.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 11, 2020, 03:16:15 PM
On another note I completely wiped Ozhiganov's existence from my memory and I hold everyone in this thread responsible for changing that.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on September 11, 2020, 03:20:38 PM
As someone who is trying to be very cautious about Lehtonen's NHL projections I will say none of those defencemen ever scored anywhere near what Lehtonen did last season and none of them were named their leagues top defenceman.

That doesn't mean his play will definitely translate to the NHL level, but he's definitely got a better track record than the other guys we tried plucking out of Europe.
Mirtle wrote this in his last article "I keep hearing very good things about Lehtonen, including the possibility he might be able to play more minutes than people think.
I know the Leafs have kind of been burned with these KHL players in the past (i.e. Ozhiganov). But Lehtonen might be one of those rare late-blooming Euros who actually can play more than fringe minutes."
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: KadriFan on September 11, 2020, 03:24:00 PM
Can he actually defend?  The leafs don?t need anymore fancy pass goal scorers. 
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Dappleganger on September 11, 2020, 03:34:38 PM
I can remember when people liked Zaitsev.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on September 11, 2020, 03:49:57 PM
Can he actually defend?  The leafs don?t need anymore fancy pass goal scorers.
From everything I am reading and seeing about him, he seems to have a well rounded game, but could be a 2nd power play specialist.  Perhaps Barrie with a bit more D in his game.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: RedLeaf on September 11, 2020, 04:55:52 PM
Can he actually defend?  The leafs don?t need anymore fancy pass goal scorers.
From everything I am reading and seeing about him, he seems to have a well rounded game, but could be a 2nd power play specialist.  Perhaps Barrie with a bit more D in his game.
A bit more Barrie than Barrie was for us this season and some defensive instincts would be nice :)
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on September 11, 2020, 05:16:33 PM
I can remember when people liked Zaitsev.

Zaitsev had a pretty good first year and actually got 12 PP points. Lou made the mistake of paying him 4.5 for 7 years and Babs played him like a top D man. At 1.5-2 mill he'd be a useful 6th guy. At 4.5 he's way overpaid for what he can bring.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on September 11, 2020, 05:22:49 PM
Can he actually defend?  The leafs don?t need anymore fancy pass goal scorers.
From everything I am reading and seeing about him, he seems to have a well rounded game, but could be a 2nd power play specialist.  Perhaps Barrie with a bit more D in his game.
A bit more Barrie than Barrie was for us this season and some defensive instincts would be nice :)
Barrie actually had some decent numbers after Babs got the boot. He was never going to be a great defensive D man. As a 3rd pairing guy, at a reasonable cost and not playing 20 mins a game he'd be fine.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on September 12, 2020, 02:04:00 AM
I can remember when people liked Zaitsev.

Zaitsev had a pretty good first year and actually got 12 PP points. Lou made the mistake of paying him 4.5 for 7 years and Babs played him like a top D man. At 1.5-2 mill he'd be a useful 6th guy. At 4.5 he's way overpaid for what he can bring.
If he was a cheap 3rd pair guy I'd have no problem. 

Sent from my SM-G986W using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on September 12, 2020, 01:38:04 PM
I can remember when people liked Zaitsev.

Zaitsev had a pretty good first year and actually got 12 PP points. Lou made the mistake of paying him 4.5 for 7 years and Babs played him like a top D man. At 1.5-2 mill he'd be a useful 6th guy. At 4.5 he's way overpaid for what he can bring.
If he was a cheap 3rd pair guy I'd have no problem. 

Sent from my SM-G986W using Tapatalk


Definitely.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 24, 2020, 12:57:09 PM

Interview with Lehtonen. Just talks a little bit about how his season has gone and his experiences in the KHL. An old TMLfans favourite makes a quick appearance in the middle.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 24, 2020, 01:16:50 PM
Nice find, Carlton

Quote
GK: Both Marjam?ki and the KHL?s smart puck system agree on one metric: your passing is laser-accurate. Was that a skill that coaches emphasized early on for you?

ML: When I was younger, one of my coaches always said, ?If you can complete nine of ten passes, you can play in better leagues and on better teams." So I think it has always been a big thing in my game. You have to put it on the tape?and it?s hard to say how I practice it, there?s nothing special for that?but I just keep focused on passing.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on September 24, 2020, 02:49:47 PM
I like this guy...lazer passes..Ohway!! :o
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on September 27, 2020, 05:05:54 PM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 01, 2020, 08:02:43 PM
4th of the season
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on October 01, 2020, 09:17:04 PM
4th of the season
He's good at getting the puck on net.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 06, 2020, 01:13:07 PM
Also good at getting the puck into the net
2G, 2A on the night
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on October 08, 2020, 10:16:20 AM

I'm not sure where, but it sure feels like Lehtonen will be on the team whenever the season starts. The fact that he'll have already been playing for months gives him a leg up as well.

Currently 10th in the KHL in scoring. Top-5 in PPG so would be higher if his team didn't have to quarantine for a bit there. 2nd in shots per game (1st is Soshnikov).
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on October 08, 2020, 12:56:41 PM

I'm not sure where, but it sure feels like Lehtonen will be on the team whenever the season starts. The fact that he'll have already been playing for months gives him a leg up as well.

Currently 10th in the KHL in scoring. Top-5 in PPG so would be higher if his team didn't have to quarantine for a bit there. 2nd in shots per game (1st is Soshnikov).
I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Rob on October 08, 2020, 01:04:20 PM

I'm not sure where, but it sure feels like Lehtonen will be on the team whenever the season starts. The fact that he'll have already been playing for months gives him a leg up as well.

Currently 10th in the KHL in scoring. Top-5 in PPG so would be higher if his team didn't have to quarantine for a bit there. 2nd in shots per game (1st is Soshnikov).
I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season.

I'm guessing top 4 midway through the first period of the season opener.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on October 08, 2020, 01:48:12 PM

I'm not sure where, but it sure feels like Lehtonen will be on the team whenever the season starts. The fact that he'll have already been playing for months gives him a leg up as well.

Currently 10th in the KHL in scoring. Top-5 in PPG so would be higher if his team didn't have to quarantine for a bit there. 2nd in shots per game (1st is Soshnikov).
I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season.

I'm guessing top 4 midway through the first period of the season opener.
Yessire Bob!
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on October 08, 2020, 02:08:32 PM

I'm not sure where, but it sure feels like Lehtonen will be on the team whenever the season starts. The fact that he'll have already been playing for months gives him a leg up as well.

Currently 10th in the KHL in scoring. Top-5 in PPG so would be higher if his team didn't have to quarantine for a bit there. 2nd in shots per game (1st is Soshnikov).
I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season.

I'm guessing top 4 midway through the first period of the season opener.
Yessire Bob!
Haha. Let's hope the Leafs can sign 1 top 4 RD man. That would help a lot and if we can push Holl down to the third pairing eventually, that'll be good.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 12, 2020, 11:18:07 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 19, 2020, 10:25:31 AM
Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on October 19, 2020, 11:15:21 AM
Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2
Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot. Both PP units should be fun to watch.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: CarltonTheBear on October 19, 2020, 11:19:09 AM
The one thing that worries me is that a lot of his highlights, especially goals, seem to come from one-timers. And without any actual evidence to back this up I feel like that's one of the biggest things that's easier to pull off in Europe/KHL than it is to do in the NHL. So I'm not really sure I'd expect him to get double digit goals or anything here. Those laser passes still sound nice though.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 19, 2020, 11:22:35 AM
Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot. Both PP units should be fun to watch.

He, and that unit, will have 20 seconds to make something happen on an on-the-fly shift. I don't think there'll be much outside of a patented Jason Spezza entry-fake-short snapper to the shelf. Lehtonen will also be competing for open looks with Spezza and maybe Robertson.

I expect the formation to be something like
Simmonds
Thornton - Robertson
Spezza - Lehtonen
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 19, 2020, 02:50:21 PM
The one thing that worries me is that a lot of his highlights, especially goals, seem to come from one-timers. And without any actual evidence to back this up I feel like that's one of the biggest things that's easier to pull off in Europe/KHL than it is to do in the NHL. So I'm not really sure I'd expect him to get double digit goals or anything here. Those laser passes still sound nice though.

Normally, I hate overshooting defense; they're a waste of possession with a low percentage attempt. They certainly shouldn't be the primary locus of attack (see MTL PP, how Tyson Barrie envisions success).

For Lehtonen, I don't mind. His shot is a weapon, certainly, but just the most photogenic aspect of his game. He covers a lot of ice, he's involved in a lot of plays, and his passing is well above average and at pretty good volume. The Leafs under Sheldon Keefe have very active D on the attack, be it on the rush or when setup in the OZ (high F, wall-driving strong-side D); Dubas is gradually filling the D-corps with better handlers who can keep plays alive. Even Bogosian is more than capable of pinching down and just mashing the puck back below the red line to restart the cycle. In the event the Leafs are left with a low-to-high play when the slot's closed off (they do this sooooo much), at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 21, 2020, 12:43:40 PM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on October 21, 2020, 01:06:23 PM
I remember when Zaitsev was the considered the best defenceman not playing in north america, and a lot of similar specific superlatives were being heaped on. Maybe it'd be best to see if his game even translates to the NHL before laying it on too thick.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: bustaheims on October 21, 2020, 01:15:52 PM
I remember when Zaitsev was the considered the best defenceman not playing in north america, and a lot of similar specific superlatives were being heaped on. Maybe it'd be best to see if his game even translates to the NHL before laying it on too thick.

I'm all for being cautious with European veteran imports, but Zaitsev never produced at the level Lehtonen is right now. 8 goals would be tied for Zaitsev's 2nd highest output as a professional hockey player.

In terms of offensive ability, Lehtonen is in a completely different stratosphere than any of the European D the Leafs have brought over in recent years.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 21, 2020, 01:23:45 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here. Unless you hate seeing goal highlights that just keep appearing for some reason...

I do desperately want to see a clip set of Lehtonen neutralizing rushes in the NZ, pinning a puck and squirreling out of a forecheck to spring an open forward, and completing 10-15' passes.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on October 21, 2020, 02:14:33 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here.

"I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season."
"Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2"
"Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot."
"at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot."

That's literally just in the last two pages.


Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on October 21, 2020, 02:18:19 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here.

"I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season."
"Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2"
"Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot."
"at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot."

That's literally just in the last two pages.

^^

The offseason is the time for hope to spring eternal in fandom....
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 21, 2020, 02:20:05 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here.

"I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season."
"Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2"
"Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot."
"at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot."

That's literally just in the last two pages.

Who else on the Leafs defense, pray tell, has a positive power play record, aside from Rielly? A simple process of elimination, combined with fair chances to keeping the Russian free agent pipeline flowing makes this one of the easier reads of this lineup.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on October 21, 2020, 02:24:04 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here.

"I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season."
"Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2"
"Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot."
"at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot."

That's literally just in the last two pages.

^^

The offseason is the time for hope to spring eternal in fandom....

Yeah. And that's fine, I'm sorry if I come across as a killjoy, Lehtonen may be an amazing revelation. But he's proven absolutely nothing apart from his ability to perform well offensively against much lesser competition. In a sense, it reminds me when Nylander was beating up on 3rd stringers during the world cup, and the "OMG he's finally fulfilling his destiny" quotes starting appearing.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on October 21, 2020, 02:27:27 PM
Also, everyone who has written in this thread has been extremely cautious and sort of gun shy by Zatisev, so I'm not sure what superlatives are being laid on thickly here.

"I have a feeling this guy is going to be pushing top 4 by mid season."
"Thornton is going to have so many fun options on PP2"
"Lehtonen is going to give the Leafs a different look on the PP because of his shot."
"at least we're feeding pucks to someone like Lehtonen who can do something with his shot."

That's literally just in the last two pages.

Who else on the Leafs defense, pray tell, has a positive power play record, aside from Rielly? A simple process of elimination, combined with fair chances to keeping the Russian free agent pipeline flowing makes this one of the easier reads of this lineup.

Hey, that's fine, but don't pretend like you aren't doing exactly what you claimed wasn't happening in your prior post.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 21, 2020, 02:35:42 PM
Hey, that's fine, but don't pretend like you aren't doing exactly what you claimed wasn't happening in your prior post.

Simple statements of fact is a pretty far stretch from 'superlatives' being laid on thick.
1) Lehtonen has a good shot
2) Lehtonen will be afforded power play opportunities
3) Joe Thornton, a power play passing wizard, will be afforded power play opportunities

I also pretty clearly said this:
"He, and that unit, will have 20 seconds to make something happen on an on-the-fly shift. I don't think there'll be much outside of a patented Jason Spezza entry-fake-short snapper to the shelf. Lehtonen will also be competing for open looks with Spezza and maybe Robertson."
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on October 21, 2020, 03:03:16 PM
I remember when Zaitsev was the considered the best defenceman not playing in north america, and a lot of similar specific superlatives were being heaped on. Maybe it'd be best to see if his game even translates to the NHL before laying it on too thick.

Was Z really thought of that way?

Also, I keep saying this, but Z wasn't the problem. It was his contract relative to his performance that was the problem. This is why I'm really not getting too bent out of shape if Lehtonen isn't lights out because he's costing the team less than $1m per. He doesn't need to be revelation, he just needs to be competent. Same goes for Thornton.

The real problem, and I don't want to beat a dead horse here, is that Z became a boat anchor @ 4.5m for 7yrs! If he had a shorter, more of a "let's see more" deal like 2M at 2yrs I don't think any of us would've balked at that. At least you get flexibility on a guy that isn't a sure bet. I mean, are any of us really complaining about the Mikhayev deal because it's too much for too long?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Andy on October 21, 2020, 03:28:46 PM
Give me a break, this is a "Mikko Lehtonen" thread with Lehtonen clips being shown. I don't see how anyone would have a problem with this nor have any superlatives been thrown out.

And FTR, not only was Zaitsev never hyped as much as Lehtonen (Leafs media, fanbase, NHL all included) Zaitsev's top season ever in the KHL was 32 points.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on October 21, 2020, 03:39:31 PM
The real problem, and I don't want to beat a dead horse here, is that Z became a boat anchor @ 4.5m for 7yrs!

Even that, I think, is overstating things a bit. An ok defensive defenseman at 4.5 isn't a good use of money but as the Leafs showed it's something that can get moved at relatively low cost.

I think the Leafs moved on from him more because A) he wasn't Dubas' sort of player and B) their cap situation made it so they couldn't be as cavalier about small overpayments as other teams.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 21, 2020, 04:27:05 PM
Zaitsev also requested a trade (https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2019/05/30/nikita-zaitsev-toronto-maple-leafs-trade/) and was very happy to beeline for the DJ Smith-led Senators.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on October 21, 2020, 05:37:43 PM
The real problem, and I don't want to beat a dead horse here, is that Z became a boat anchor @ 4.5m for 7yrs!

Even that, I think, is overstating things a bit. An ok defensive defenseman at 4.5 isn't a good use of money but as the Leafs showed it's something that can get moved at relatively low cost.

I think the Leafs moved on from him more because A) he wasn't Dubas' sort of player and B) their cap situation made it so they couldn't be as cavalier about small overpayments as other teams.

Really? I didn't think he brought commensurate value to his contract. I still do think a 7yr contract on a fairly unproven asset did hamstring the team somewhat. Do you have to trade Connor Brown if it's a more palatable contract? Or if you do trade CB could you trade him on his own for value coming back vs. being used as a sweetener to get from out of a bad contract? He put together a pretty good season on a dreadful team last year.

I have a hard time thinking Dubas' rationale for trading him would be "He's not my guy" which seems very arbitrary vs. he's not very good relative to his contract.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Nik on October 21, 2020, 05:57:18 PM
Really? I didn't think he brought commensurate value to his contract.

I think he was overpaid a bit but not by a ton. Look at some of the deals signed by defensive defensemen this off-season and I think it's fair to say the term was the issue.

He put together a pretty good season on a dreadful team last year.

I think a pretty good season on a dreadful team is probably the high end of what Brown can do. He was forced down the lineup here to basically being a 3rd/4th line forward and I think that's what he is on a decent team which isn't all that valuable or a big price to pay.

I have a hard time thinking Dubas' rationale for trading him would be "He's not my guy" which seems very arbitrary vs. he's not very good relative to his contract.

Ok but I didn't say Dubas would trade him just for "not being my guy". I said Dubas's rationale would be that he didn't really value Zaitsev's skillset.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Frycer14 on October 21, 2020, 09:45:31 PM
Was Z really thought of that way?

Yeah, he was getting his tires pumped pretty nicely at the time.

http://theleafsnation.com/2016/4/30/last-train-to-zaitsev

"Without a shred of exaggeration, Zaitsev is the best combination of talent and age of any defenceman the KHL"

"The eyes will tell you instantaneously that the youngster is an NHL-ready player. At 6?2 and a little under 200 pounds, he?s got a frame that can hold up to the rigors of the big leagues. He?s a crafty skater who has a small ice-capable first step, he can make outlet passes with ease, and has a howitzer from the point. "

Then they go into how impressive his offensive stats are, etc etc.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 22, 2020, 08:28:38 AM
Apparently Lehtonen has layered on a few tweaks to his game. They look like Belfry suggestions to me, because guess who has access to the player dev app now?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on October 22, 2020, 08:56:26 AM
Was Z really thought of that way?

Yeah, he was getting his tires pumped pretty nicely at the time.

http://theleafsnation.com/2016/4/30/last-train-to-zaitsev

"Without a shred of exaggeration, Zaitsev is the best combination of talent and age of any defenceman the KHL"

"The eyes will tell you instantaneously that the youngster is an NHL-ready player. At 6?2 and a little under 200 pounds, he?s got a frame that can hold up to the rigors of the big leagues. He?s a crafty skater who has a small ice-capable first step, he can make outlet passes with ease, and has a howitzer from the point. "

Then they go into how impressive his offensive stats are, etc etc.

TLN is a fansite though and Jeff Veillette can be a Leafs homer at times. That was never going to be a rational look at the player, although a lot of the second paragraph isn't technically wrong.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: OldTimeHockey on October 22, 2020, 09:02:52 AM
I don't see the issue of pumping the tires of a prospective player. I also don't see the issue being excited about that player. It's the potential that you're excited about. Much like a draft pick, yes this player is unknown, but no one is planning a parade route.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Zee on October 22, 2020, 09:13:49 AM
I don't see the issue of pumping the tires of a prospective player. I also don't see the issue being excited about that player. It's the potential that you're excited about. Much like a draft pick, yes this player is unknown, but no one is planning a parade route.

Speak for yourself.  ;D
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: RedLeaf on October 22, 2020, 09:49:49 AM
I don't see the issue of pumping the tires of a prospective player. I also don't see the issue being excited about that player. It's the potential that you're excited about. Much like a draft pick, yes this player is unknown, but no one is planning a parade route.

Speak for yourself.  ;D

Maybe not the parade route just yet. Can we settle on which bar to catch the game 7 final? ;D
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 22, 2020, 10:02:52 AM
Apparently Lehtonen has layered on a few tweaks to his game. They look like Belfry suggestions to me, because guess who has access to the player dev app now?

I like the moves to get out of the zone, or the sift pucks to the net. Not a huge fan of the solo rush into 4 defending players for a shot into the crest, unless he was deliberately trying to buy line changes and a set OZ faceoff.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 23, 2020, 08:55:42 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Kaberle15 on October 23, 2020, 10:24:17 AM
Again ?
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on October 29, 2020, 09:29:58 AM
NHL/AHL probably going to look like this on the regular next season
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Heroic Shrimp on November 01, 2020, 08:38:40 AM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on November 01, 2020, 08:45:54 AM
I take it that means Lehtonen was one of the 12 forwards unfit to play. Jokerit is running 10 forwards today.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on November 11, 2020, 03:47:11 PM
Invalid Tweet IDScoring like a forward so far. He was back in action last night after sitting out since Oct 21.

Didn't hit the scoreboard, but still motoring
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on November 18, 2020, 07:50:17 PM
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: herman on November 20, 2020, 07:37:45 AM
And now, to answer my question of, why did Mikko do a press circuit with Toronto media in the random middle of November:
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Guilt Trip on November 20, 2020, 10:25:44 AM
And now, to answer my question of, why did Mikko do a press circuit with Toronto media in the random middle of November:
Seems like the same route as Barabanov. Get over to Toronto and work with the Leafs to get ready for the season.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on November 20, 2020, 11:25:18 AM
Lehtonen just played for the Jokers and now is playing with us.  Is it a coincidence? ;)
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: bustaheims on November 20, 2020, 11:43:29 AM
A little insight into the the timing:

Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Bender on November 20, 2020, 01:15:20 PM
A little insight into the the timing:

Makes sense. Might as well acclimatize here.
Title: Re: Mikko Lehtonen signs with Leafs
Post by: Highlander on January 08, 2021, 03:10:04 PM
From the Athletic today:
You could probably file that humour under ?self-deprecating,? given the origins of his nickname: ?Finnish Bobby Orr,? as Joensuu heard it.
?I like to chirp guys and joke with the guys,? said Joensuu. ?And when I heard his nickname before I met him, I was like, excuse my language, ?This friging guy.? I thought he got it in junior because he was good and he kept that nickname. So I didn?t like it. But then I actually heard the story. He said he was in a tournament when he was 14. And he was skating up with the puck, and looking down at the ice. Somebody hit him really hard. How he told it, his gloves and helmets flew all over the place. That?s when the coach told him: ?You?re not Bobby Orr.? That?s how he got the nickname. When I heard that, I said, ?OK, now it?s a good nickname.? Nobody should be Wayne Gretzky unless it?s a chirp instead of praise.??