Markus Lehto

Markus Lehto

Founder & President

NHLPA Certified Player Agent

Since founding Acme World Sports with close friend Bill Zito in 1995, Markus has used a remarkable blend of hockey know-how and legal expertise to help drive growth in North America and Europe.

Markus literally brings a world of hockey experience to our team. After playing his junior hockey in Chicago and Oshawa (OHL), he went on to have a ten-year professional player career highlighted by an appearance on the 1984 Finnish Olympic Team in Sarajevo, the 1985 World Championships in Prague, and serving as captain of historic Jokerit Helsinki in the Finnish SM-liiga. After retiring from professional hockey, Markus worked as a hockey coach for five years and attained the highest coaching degree in Europe while also studying law at the University of Helsinki.

Over nearly two decades, “Mare” has nurtured and guided many players to NHL prominence while building Acme World Sports into one of the most valuable hockey agencies in the world. Notable long-time clients include Tuukka Rask, Kimmo Timonen, Valtteri Filppula, Tuomo Ruutu, Antti Niemi, Sami Salo, and Ville Leino. He has also been an integral figure in the “detour to success” of North American clients such as Tim Thomas and Brian Rafalski. Well respected for his talent evaluation, Markus has overseen the drafting of several NHL first round picks over the past decade, including Ruutu, Rask, and Teuvo Teräväinen.

Markus is highly regarded in hockey circles as a sports law specialist for his in-depth knowledge of the regulations and procedures governing professional ice hockey leagues around the world. He is frequently sought after for counsel by clients, team executives, and leagues on myriad issues regarding professional ice hockey in the new millennium. His ability to navigate through the international ice hockey system ensures sound advice and representation for our clients around the world.

Markus is intimately involved in all of Acme’s global operations, heading NHL contract negotiations and the development of junior players in North-America and Europe, as well as directing the management of our contracts worldwide. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.