Artturi Lehkonen played his best game of the season during Wednesday's match-up between Frölunda and eternal rivals HV71.
One of the major changes this year for Lehkonen is that he has had to adjust to playing centre, as his former teammate Mattias Janmark managed to earn a roster spot with the Dallas Stars. Even with the added challenge, Lehkonen is hitting his stride.
Frölunda was experimenting with a new power play setup. Robin Figren and Johan Sundström create traffic in front of the net, whereas Lukas Bengtsson, Jacob Larsson and Lehkonen set up the play on the perimeter. The strategy seemed to work quite well. Even if HV71 is at the bottom of the table right now, they're traditionally a strong team.
The first assist against came on the power play, via a great pass to Larsson on the point, which showcased Lehkonen's patience and vision.
The second assist came after a brilliant defensive effort, which involved Lehkonen wrestling the puck away from Niklas Hansson, and consequently setting Frigen up for an easy goal.
(gifs via SHL Prospect GIFS)
With these two assists, Lehkonen now has a seven points in nine games, which is very respectable production in a league as skilled as the SHL.
This was arguably the best game I have seen Lehkonen play in his SHL career, and although he didn't score, every shift was of the highest standard. It is still early in the season, but Lehkonen's progress is evident in both ends of the rink.