When Samson Mahbod last EBEL season decided to continue his professional career in the Czech league, Medveščak brought to their roster the experienced Finish forward Mikko Lehtonen. This was great news, and with his performance on ice Lehtonen quickly fulfilled all expectations from both the club and the supporters!
30-years-old tall (194 cm!) Finnish attacker Mikko (Kristian) Lehtonen (1987) plays on the position of right winger, and last season he arrived to Medveščak from HPK, from the Finnish national championship Liiga.
His sports bio, together with playing for Finnish national ice hockey team and playing for Medveščak, also includes experience of playing in AHL, KHL, NLA and Scandinavian leagues.
In North American AHL he played 164 games and scored 110 points (53+58), for Providence Bruins, a branch of NHL Boston Bruins where he was drafted and where he also took part in two NHL games.
He also played 77 games, with 30 points scored (14+16), in the strongest ice hockey league outside of North America KHL, for Russian Severstal Cherepovets.
He played in European NLA (54 games), wearing the jersey of Lugano and Bern, and in Scandinavian leagues – 181 games in Swedish SHL (Skellefteå AIK, Örebro HK, Djurgårdens IF), and 196 games in Finnish Liiga (Blues, Kärpät, HPK). For HPK he also played three games at the legendary Sprengler Cup.
Lehtonen has rich experience playing at world championships. For the Finnish national team he also played with national U-17, U-18 and U-20 teams.
Last EBEL season he took part in 16 games for Medveščak, and scored 3 goals and 7 assists.
"We have agreed to terms to bring back Mikko Lehtonen. Mikko is a big strong winger who skates really well for his size. He has the skills and potential to score 30 goals in this league. He knows the league now a bit more and he worked extremely hard this summer to get himself into top shape. He is very excited to be back in Zagreb and help us achieve our goals", said Medveščak's sports director Aaron Fox.
Lehtonen will arrive to the Zagreb Den in early August, when Medveščak will start their preparations for the new 2018/19 EBEL season.