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Stars Trade for Kari Lehtonen

Atlanta Goaltender was the second overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft

Tuesday, 02.09.2010 / 9:30 PM / News
By Dallas Stars Staff
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Stars Trade for Kari Lehtonen

Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced late Tuesday evening that the hockey club has acquired goaltender Kari Lehtonen from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and Dallas’ fourth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Lehtonen, 26, is an NHL veteran goaltender who has played his entire career with Atlanta. He was the second overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Thrashers. Lehtonen has appeared in 204 career NHL games, earning a 94-83-17 record with a 2.87 goals-against-average (GAA) and 14 shutouts. His career save percentage of 91.2 percent ranks 16th among the 44 active goalies with 100-or-more games played.

Kari Lehtonen is a proven elite goaltender,” said Nieuwendyk. “We are very excited to add him to our hockey club.”

A native of Helsinki, Finland, Lehtonen has not played yet this season due to off-season back surgery. He recently underwent a four-game conditioning assignment with the Chicago Wolves and has been activated to play.

"He was picked second overall for a reason," said Nieuwendyk. "When healthy, he is a world-class goaltender. He is 26, and is entering the prime of his career.”

Lehtonen has an impressive record in shootout contests, having gone 20-8 in those games over his career (the 20 wins are tied for the fifth-most all-time despite not playing at all yet this season). He has also stopped seven-of-eight penalty shots in his career.

Finishing last season with a 7-2-0 record in his last nine starts with two shutouts, Lehtonen is Atlanta’s all-time leader among goaltenders in games (204), wins (94), shutouts (14), and save percentage (.912). He has represented Finland in international competition 11 times, including winning a Silver Medal at the 2007 World Championships.

Vishnevskiy, 21, has spent most of this season with the Texas Stars (AHL), playing in 51 games (8 goals, 16 assists) with 18 penalty minutes. He also appeared in two NHL games with Dallas, going scoreless. Vishnevskiy was Dallas’ first round selection (27th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in five career NHL games, earning two assists.

Kari Lehtonen Highlights
  • Career save percentage of 91.2% - 16th best among active goalies.
  • 20-8 career record in shootouts – T-5th most wins ever in shootouts.
  • Backstopped Atlanta to 2007 division title, going 34-24-9 with 4 shutouts, a 2.79 GAA and .912 save percentage. Ranked 11th in the NHL in wins and shutouts. Allowed two-or-fewer goals in 29 games.
  • Two-time winner of the top goaltender award in the Finnish Elite League (2002, 2003).
  • Earned a 13-5-3 record, leading team to 2002 Finnish Elite League Championship as league’s youngest goaltender (18).
Career Regular Season Statistics
Season Team GP W L T OT SO GA SA Sv% GAA Mins
1998-1999 Jokerit Helsinki U18-Fin-U18 2
1999-2000 Jokerit Helsinki Jr.-Fin-Jr. 33 21 9 3 2 86 2.61 1,974
1999-2000 Finland-WJ18-A 6 5 0 1 1 9 1.76 307
2000-2001 Jokerit Helsinki U18-Fin-U18
2000-2001 Jokerit Helsinki Jr.-Fin-Jr. 31 20 9 1 3 71 2.37 1,799
2000-2001 Jokerit Helsinki-Finland 4 3 1 0 0 6 1.90 189
2000-2001 Finland-WJC-A 1 1 0 0 0 2 2.00 60
2000-2001 Finland-WJ18-A 4 3 1 0 2 7 1.76 239
2001-2002 Jokerit Helsinki Jr.-Fin-Jr. 6 5 1 0 1 11 1.83 360
2001-2002 Jokerit Helsinki-Finland 23 13 5 2 4 37 1.79 1,242
2001-2002 Finland-WJC-A 6 4 2 0 1 7 1.17 360
2001-2002 Finland-WC-A
2002-2003 Jokerit Helsinki-Finland 45 23 14 6 5 87 1.98 2,634
2002-2003 Finland-WJC-A 6 3 2 1 2 13 2.19 357
2002-2003 Finland-WC-A
2003-2004 Thrashers 4 4 0 0 - 1 5 106 .953 1.25 240
2003-2004 Chicago Wolves-AHL 39 20 14 2 3 88 1,189 .926 2.41 2,192
2004-2005 Finland-W-Cup
2004-2005 Chicago Wolves-AHL 57 38 17 2 5 128 1,795 .929 2.27 3,378
2005-2006 Thrashers 38 20 15 - 0 2 106 1,123 .906 2.94 2,166
2006-2007 Thrashers 68 34 24 - 9 4 183 2,075 .912 2.79 3,934
2006-2007 Finland-WC-A 6 4 2 0 1 12 138 1.93 374
2007-2008 Thrashers 48 17 22 - 5 4 131 1,560 .916 2.90 2,707
2007-2008 Chicago Wolves-AHL 2 2 0 0 0 4 61 .934 1.93
2008-2009 Thrashers 46 19 22 - 3 3 134 1,498 .911 3.06 2,624
NHL Totals 204 94 83 0 17 14 559 6,362 .912 2.87 11,671
Career Playoff Statistics
Season Team GP W L T OT SO GA SA Sv% GAA Mins
1998-1999 Jokerit Helsinki U18-Fin-U18 4 2 2 0 7 1.75 240
1999-2000 Jokerit Helsinki Jr.-Fin-Jr. 12 9 3 4 14 1.11 758
2000-2001 Jokerit Helsinki U18-Fin-U18 6
2000-2001 Jokerit Helsinki Jr.-Fin-Jr. 1 0 1 0 4 4.44 54
2001-2002 Jokerit Helsinki-Finland 11 8 2 3 18 1.73 623
2002-2003 Jokerit Helsinki-Finland 10 6 4 2 17 1.63 626
2003-2004 Chicago Wolves-AHL 10 6 4 1 23 397 .942 2.08 663
2004-2005 Chicago Wolves-AHL 16 10 6 2 28 457 .939 1.71 983
2006-2007 Thrashers 2 0 2 - 0 0 11 73 .849 5.59 118
2006-2007 Finland-WC-A 0
2007-2008 Chicago Wolves-AHL
NHL Totals 2 0 2 0 0 0 11 73 .849 5.59 118

 

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