Bolts Return Helenius to Admirals

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have returned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. In addition, the Admirals announced today that goaltender Shane Connelly has been released from his Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 211-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, served as the backup goaltender for in the Lightning’s 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night. Helenius has played in 12 games with the Admirals this season, recording a 5-7-0 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Last season, he led the Admirals in both goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage in his first North American professional season. In 25 games with Norfolk, the 21-year-old went 9-15-0 with one shutout, a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round (15th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, made his NHL debut in relief on January 30 with Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia and stopped the two shots he faced in his only career NHL action to this point. Helenius also appeared in 11 ECHL games last season between the Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves, going 4-5-2 with a 3.80 GAA.

Connelly served as backup goaltender for the Admirals in Hershey last night.