According to Aftonbladet's Tomas Ros, a sports journalist in Sweden, the deal would see him go back to the SHL if he were not to make the NHL roster out of camp. The summer for Artturi Lehkonen seems to be similar to Dallas forward Mattias Janmark's off season last year. Development camp with the Canadiens, then back to Sweden for the start of the Champions Hockey League and SHL, then a return to Montreal for the rookie camp and the main training camp.
It would strengthen Lehkonen's chances for a place on the Habs' roster, as he would get into camp in "game shape" and that should help Lehkonen make a bigger impact and a have a better chance in making the team directly.
Neither team has officially reported the contract, but sources close to Frölunda have told EOTP it is a matter of when Lehkonen signs with the Canadiens and not if.
"I don't know if he has signed or not, but he most likely will," said Fredrik Sjöström, Sporting Director of Frölunda HC to the Gothenburg Post.
Lehkonen had an outstanding playoff run where he had 19 (11 G, 8 A) points on his way to the Swedish title. He won the playoff scoring race, and broke Daniel Alfredsson's Frölunda team record for playoff points. Lehkonen's run put him in sixth all-time in points and fifth in goals for a single playoff year.
That put him in the discussion for the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy (playoff MVP) but in the end it went to teammate Johan Sundström instead.
The Finnish super talent was drafted in the second round in 2013. It is turning out to be a pretty great haul for the Canadiens as they drafted Michael McCarron, Jacob de la Rose, Zach Fucale, Sven Andrighetto, Martin Réway as well that year.
Artturi Lehkonen won the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy in Finland after his rookie year. While he struggled a bit coming over to Sweden, his second season has been his coming out party. He scored 33 points (17 G, 16 A) in 49 games most of them 5-on-5. He played with more confidence as the year went on and was an important part of Frölunda's Champions Hockey League win in February.
Lehkonen has the skill set and drive to go directly to NHL from SHL like his teammate Mattias Janmark did in Dallas this year. For a team looking for offensive talent, this could be a major signing for the Canadiens this summer. The panel ranked Lehkonen at #12 in last year's Top 25 Under 25. There should be an increase in that ranking this year.
For more information and highlights regarding Lehkonen's development, make sure to check out our European Prospect hub.