CHL Preseason: Helenius Makes WHL Debut

Lightning 2006 first rounder Riku Helenius made his much-anticipated North American debut Friday night for the Seattle Thunderbirds, albeit in a preseason game. Helenius played the first half of Seattle's 5-4 win over Chilliwack, stopping 17 of 18 shots. According to the Seattle papers, the Thunderbirds view Helenius' addition as a substantial piece to their league title chances.

Everett also began their preseason Friday night, but it is unclear as of yet if Dane Crowley played. The official WHL site does not provide stats for preseason games and a game report from the Silvertips did not mention Crowley in the game.

In the QMJHL, defensemen Michael Ward had an assist, four PIM, and a minus-1 rating for Lewiston in a 8-4 preseason loss to St. John.