Lehkonen heads short list of drafted wingers playing in Finland
Like Sweden's SHL and the Czech and Slovak Extraligas, Finland's Liiga has been hit hard by the defection of top young players to the KHL for bigger contracts.
Players like Sakari Salminen, Jori Lehtera (STL) and former Toronto Maple LeafLeo Komarov (all members of Finland's bronze medal Olympic team) now play in Russia rather than seeking NHL opportunities or playing in the Liiga. As a result, the prospect pool in Liiga has dwindled, with only a handful of young wingers still playing in Finland.
Instead, the league is now largely a haven for former NCAA stars like Jokerit's Steve Moses (UNH) and Broc Little (Yale), former NHL players like HIFK leading scorer Ville Peltonen, now 40, or ex-NHL/AHL types like Dan Sexton (TPS's leading scorer) and Raymond Sawada (Tappara).… read more