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Photo Credit: Colorado College

Leafs sign defenceman Teemu Kivihalme

Well, we’re not going to pretend we know any more than you.

But the Leafs made another transaction today,  signing 23-year old lefty defenceman Teemu Kivihalme.

From the team’s official release:

Kivihalme, 23, spent the 2018-19 season with Karpat of Finland’s Liiga. In 60 games during the 2018-19 season, Kivihalme recorded nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points, which ranked ninth among Liiga defencemen in scoring. He added nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 16 playoff games, which was the third highest point total among Liiga defencemen in the postseason. In Champions League play during 2018-19, Kivihalme recorded five points (2-3-5) in 10 games. Over two Liiga seasons, Kivihalme recorded 50 points (13 goals, 37 assists) in 104 career games, while adding nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 34 playoff games, capturing the Liiga championship in 2017-18 and collecting a silver medal in 2018-19.

From our own Nick DeSouza:

Kivihalme was actually born in the States, likely in some relation to his father, Janne, who has played and coached in the  country since at least the mid-90s.

He was also at the Bruins development camp last season. Credit Mike Cratty for some info:

Teemu’s career stats are below:

In terms of the Leafs’ depth chart next year, he slots in behind well, Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, Travis Dermott, and ____?  Rasmus Sandin? Calle Rosen? Andreas Borgman?

Kivihalme likely starts with the Marlies in the fall, but what do we know?



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    • Matmarwill

      On the right side, the buds have Zaitsev, liljegren, holl, hollowell, duszak, and lindgren (also Subban and loverde but they become ufas after season’s end). Now, the question becomes how many of them are nhl – ready? Zaitsev is, and played respectable well enough in the playoffs with Muzzin. Liljegren is quite young, but is playing top pairing minutes currently with the Marlies, and likely will be fine next season in semi-sheltered 3rd pairing minutes with the leafs. However, Holl doesn’t seem to have the coach’s confidence. Although Hollowell and Duszak have already been used in the high pressure AHL playoffs, and have done fine in sheltered minutes, both and lindgren atleast need some more AHL seasoning next year. And even though the buds have far more rhd prospects than has been the average over many years, the buds have yet to find and/or develop many nhl caliber ones, other than perhaps liljegren (and to some extent Zaitsev). So, until one or more of these prospects develops further, in addition to liljegren whom I think will make the leafs next season, look for the buds to fill the rhd position next to Reilly next season with someone like a healthy Dermott. If Dermott’s still out out the beginning of next season, I would see how liljegren fares there, since holl could fill the 3rhd. And, as things are proceeding, I would expect one, or more, of hollowell, duszak or lindgren (all of whom are older, more mature prospects) will be ready to step up later next season.

      So, I don’t see the rhd depth on the leafs as being crisis situation, just one that provides development opportunities for prospects. Hopefully several of them step up and get the job done.