June 24, 1973 |
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||192 lb (87 kg; 13 st 10 lb)|
|Played for||TPS (SM-liiga)
|NHL Draft||88th overall, 1992
Minnesota North Stars
|Competitor for Finland|
Jere Kalervo Lehtinen (born June 24, 1973) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey forward. He played right wing. He was drafted 88th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. Lehtinen handled defensive aspects of the game as well as offensive, he was a two-way forward for which he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times as the league's best defensive forward.
Lehtinen started his career with his hometown team, Kiekko-Espoo. The team was jammed in first division in 1991 but they managed to win the division and gained a spot in the Finnish SM-liiga, from there Lehtinen started his professional career. He spent another year with Kiekko-Espoo but the team was struggling and after one season, Lehtinen received an offer from one of the biggest clubs at that time, TPS. He signed with TPS in the summer of 1993 and once the season started, he soon found his scoring abilities. Lehtinen was immediately paired with another future NHLer Saku Koivu and the two were a big part of TPS's great season. Although they won the regular season title by a huge margin, they lost to Jokerit in the finals.
The following season, TPS and Lehtinen went all the way again, this time beating Jokerit in the final series 3–2. After the SM-liiga season was over, Lehtinen received an invite to the 1995 World Championships. Team Finland went all the way to the final game and swept Sweden 4–1, winning Finland's first IIHF World Championship gold medal. He was part of the renowned first line of Finland dubbed by Finnish fans the "Ankkalinnan pojat" ("The boys of Duckburg", a reference to their nicknames "Tupu, Hupu, Lupu"; "Huey, Dewey, Louie") with Saku Koivu and Ville Peltonen, another future NHLer. The three also made up the tournament's all-star line.
After the big year in 1995, winning SM-Liiga and World Championship gold medals, Lehtinen went over the sea to play in the NHL. He saw only one game in the minors and was part of the Dallas Stars organization instantly. Lehtinen worked his way up in three years to join Mike Modano in the first line and was nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the first time in 1996–97 season. During 1997–98 season he was voted to the 1998 NHL All-Star Game. It was the first year the NHL introduced a new system, in which European players play against North-American players. Lehtinen's fellow countrymen Saku Koivu, Teemu Selänne and Jari Kurri were also voted to the game and the four saw a few shifts with each other rotating. The same year Lehtinen was again a nominee for the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward and eventually won the prestigious award. He was also part of the bronze-winning Team Finland in Nagano Olympic games in 1998.
In 1999 the Stars managed to go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals and beat Buffalo Sabres in six games winning the Stanley Cup, Lehtinen scored the first goal in Game 6 and assisted on Brett Hull's cup-winning goal in over-time. Lehtinen set new career high stats and captured the Selke Trophy, becoming only the third player to win the award in consecutive seasons.
The 1999–2000 season was a tough time for Lehtinen. He was able to play in only 17 regular season games due to problems with his ankle. He fractured it early in the season and had to be sidelined for 30 games. After he had sustained the injury he returned to the lineup but was again sidelined after playing just 8 games; this time for 35 games. He then returned to help his team in the playoffs. The Stars went again to the Stanley Cup finals but were unable to overcome the New Jersey Devils.
After a troubling season, Lehtinen bounced back to his old form in 2000–01 season, and put up another strong season stats-wise. The Stars, however, didn't go as deep as they had gone the last couple of years.
In 2001–02, Lehtinen had a stellar season. Although the Stars failed to qualify for the playoffs, Lehtinen managed to score 25 goals, tallied 24 assists and finished first on the team in plus/minus with +27. He was again voted to the NHL All-Star game but was unable to play due to injury. He ranked 7th in Lady Byng Memorial Trophy voting and was again nominated for the Selke Trophy. He came in short and Michael Peca was honored with the award for second time in his career.
After having a great season in 2001–02, Lehtinen continued where he left off in 2002–03 season. He was the leading Stars players in goals, setting a new career high 31 goals in a season, led the team in plus/minus (+39) and was also ranked fourth in the league. Recorded his second career hat-trick against Los Angeles Kings in that season too. To top it off, Lehtinen became only the third player to win the Selke Trophy three times, tying Guy Carbonneau for three and one behind Bob Gainey who has won it four times.
2003–04 season was a disappointment to Lehtinen as he only played in 58 games and scored 26 points. During the season he had problems with his knee. The Stars were knocked out by the Colorado Avalanche in the first playoff round.
Before the NHL lockout for 2004–05 season, the World Cup of Hockey was played. Lehtinen once again represented Finland and the Finns met Team Canada in the final. The Canadians took the gold with a 3–2 win over Finland.
Lehtinen underwent a surgery to get his knee fixed and rehabilitated it during the lockout season. He recovered well and it showed during the 2005–06 season as he tied for his career high points, 52, and set a new career high in goals, 33. Dallas won the Pacific division title, making it the 7th in last 10 seasons. However, they were once again eliminated in the first playoff round, by the Colorado Avalanche. Lehtinen was again a nominee for the Selke Trophy but finished third in voting.
The 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin took place in the middle of the 2005–06 NHL season. Lehtinen was again a vital part of Team Finland's journey to the gold medal game. Like in previous international tournaments, Lehtinen was placed in a line with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selänne. However, Finland lost the final bitterly 3–2 to their nemesis, Team Sweden. Koivu and Selänne were the tournament's joint top scorer and Lehtinen tied for 7th.
In the 2006–07 season, Lehtinen scored 26 goals and led the team in goals for second consecutive season. The Stars failed to progress from the first round for the third season in a row. Despite the series stretched to seven games, Lehtinen failed to contribute a single point in playoffs for his team.
Lehtinen started out the 2007–08 season very efficiently by posting 6–13–19 stats in 21 games before suffering a sports hernia. He returned on February 1, 2008 in a game against the Edmonton Oilers, ceasing his 33-game absence. He recorded an assist to Jussi Jokinen's goal in that game.
Lehtinen became one of 6 hockey players in Olympic history to win 4 medals when Finland defeated Slovakia 5–3 in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver on February 27, 2010. Lehtinen also is one of only seven ice hockey players who have appeared in at least five Olympic games.
On December 8, 2010, Lehtinen officially announced his retirement, finishing with 243 goals and 271 assists and a career plus/minus rating of +176 in 875 NHL games, all with the Stars, never finishing a season "minus" until his final season.
Lehtinen met his wife, Jaana, at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. The two were married in June 1998 and since the ceremony was only a few days after the NHL Awards, Jere wasn't present to accept the first Selke Trophy of his career. They have twin girls, Anna and Sofia, and one son, Joel.
- Played in SM-liiga All-Star Game – 1995
- Raimo Kilpiö Trophy – 1995
- Ice Hockey World Championships Tournament All-Star – 1995
- NHL Rookie of the Month – February, 1996
- Stars Rookie of the Year – 1996
- Voted to the NHL All-Star Game – 1998, 2002 (didn't play due to injury)
- Frank J. Selke Trophy – 1998, 1999, 2003
- Stanley Cup – 1999
Played for Finland in:
- 1992 World Championships (silver medal)
- 1994 World Championships (silver medal)
- 1994 Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
- 1995 World Championships (gold medal)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey
- 1998 Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
- 2002 Winter Olympics
- 2004 World Cup of Hockey (runner-up)
- 2006 Winter Olympics (silver medal)
- 2007 World Championships (silver medal)
- 2010 Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
|Junior int'l totals||30||17||16||33||18|
|Senior int'l totals||72||22||27||49||14|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jere Lehtinen.|
- Jere Lehtinen on nhlfinns.com
- Jere Lehtinen's player profile at NHL.com
- Jere Lehtinen's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Jere Lehtinen profile at Eurohockey.com
|Winner of the Raimo Kilpiö trophy
|Winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy
|Winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy