Avalanche acquire Artturi Lehkonen from Canadiens

·2 min read
Colorado has made another major move ahead of the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Artturi Lehkonen from Montreal.  (Getty)
Colorado has made another major move ahead of the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Artturi Lehkonen from Montreal. (Getty)

Artturi Lehkonen is on the move.

According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Montreal Canadiens are shipping the talented depth forward to the Colorado Avalanche for defensive prospect Justin Barron and a second-round draft selection.

Lehkonen is a pending restricted free agent.

It's hard not to consider this a win-win. Lehkonen is an exceedingly useful forward for a postseason run, as evidenced by last season's contributions in Montreal. He can fill a variety of buckets for Colorado, which was looking to upgrade its bottom six and the support for its incredibly talented top two scoring lines. Lehkonen has pace, and the ability to kill penalties and line match as an ace defensive forward with some scoring upside. It's a deal that could be just as important as the splashier acquisitions we have seen across the league.

The Avs weren't done bolstering their forward group there, as Colorado also added Andrew Cogliano from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fifth-rounder. GM Joe Sakic also added coveted blueliner Josh Manson ahead of the deadline.

Montreal, though, might be even more thrilled with the deal. While Lehkonen could be a significant part of the club's future, GM Kent Hughes is looking two and three years down the road after dealing Tyler Toffoli, Ben Chiarot, Brent Kulak and now Lehkonen, whose return is as impressive as any.

All told, the Canadiens have amassed two potential building blocks in Barron (a former first-round pick) and Emil Heineman, in addition to two first-round picks and two seconds for a collection of players without certain futures in Montreal.

This has been an undoubtedly successful first few months for Hughes in the beginning of the rebuild process and since taking over for Marc Bergevin.

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