Helenius Wins Urpo Ylonen Award
Goaltender Riku Helenius (pictured biting his SM-Liiga championship medal) has won Finland's coveted Urpo Ylonen Award as the SM-liiga's top goaltender. He was also named to the all-league team along with JYP teammate and ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin. The good news was announced on May 5th.
Helenius stormed through the Finnish regular season with a dominant 1.64 GAA and .936 save percentage before having an even better playoffs, only losing 2 games en route to leading JYP to the SM-liiga title. The Lightning are rumored to have interest in re-signing Helenius if Finland and the NHL agree to a new IIHF Transfer Agreement and Helenius also has reportedly received significant interest from KHL team Mytischi. Helenius was also a finalist for SM-liiga rookie of the year, but that award was given to Tuevo Teravainen of Jokerit, who is expected to be a first round pick in the June draft.
Notable past winners of the Urpo Ylonen include:
Niklas Backstrom (2003-2004, 2004-2005)
Karri Lehtonen (2001-2002, 2002-2003)
Miikka Kiprusoff (1998-1999)
Tim Thomas (1997-1998)