Riku Helenius

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Goaltender
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.03
Weight: 
201
Born: 
03/01/1988
Age: 
25
Hometown: 
Palkane, FIN
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 (#15) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Suspended
Projects As: 
No. 1 Goaltender
Prospect Ranking: 
12
Depth Chart Weight: 
4

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2006
Draft Type: 
NHL Entry Draft
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
1
Pick No.: 
15
Draft Team: 
Ilves Jr. A (FIN)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
06/14/2012
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$600 000
Contract Start Year: 
2012
Contract End Year: 
2014
Contract End Status: 
RFA
Salary: 
$550 000
Salary: 
$650 000

Bio

History: 

Junior Career

Helenius is a product of the Ilves Tampere organization in Finland. In 2002-2003 Helenius made his debut for Ilves' Junior C team where he played parts of two seasons. He split 2004-2005 between Ilves' Junior B and Junior A teams before making the full time jump to Junior A in 2005-2006 where he posted a 2.68 GAA with 4 shutouts and a .920 save percentage in 26 games. Helenius also dressed for 5 games at the SM-liiga level but did not play. In the summer, Helenius started for Finland in the U18 World Junior Championships where he caught the scouting world's attention going 4-1-1 with a 1.83 GAA, 1 shutout and .942 save percentage leading Finland to a silver medal. For his efforts, Helenius was named Best Goaltender in the tournament. At year's end Helenius was the 5th best goaltender by NHL Central Scouting and the 86th best prospect overall by Redline Report, but the Lightning selected Helenius in the 1st round, 15th overall of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In the Fall, Helenius appeared for the Lightning's Traverse City prospect team where he went 0-1-1 with a 3.84 GAA and .867 save percentage. Due to contractual and military service obligations, Helenius returned to Finland this season where he was expected to split time between the SM-liiga and Junior A. Unfortunately, after just 2 starts in Junior A where Helenius went 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .935 save percentage, Helenius suffered a season ending shoulder surgery which required surgery. In the summer of 2007, Helenius was selected by Seattle of the WHL in the 2007 CHL Import Draft with the 46th overall selection. The netminder appeared for the Lightning's 2007 Traverse City tournament team posting a disappointing 0-2-1 record with a 5.16 GAA and .818 save percentage. Helenius split starts most of the 2007-2008 junior season in Seattle with Jacob DeSerres, finishing the regular season with a 22-12-6 record with a 2.42 GAA and a .915 save percentage to go along with 3 shutouts in 41 appearances. In December he appeared for Finland at the 2007 U20 World Junior Championships posting a 2-2-0 record with a 3.36 GAA, a .863 save percentage, and 1 shutout as Finland finished a disappointing 6th in the tournament. In the WHL playoffs, Helenius redeemed himself helping the Thunderbirds to knock of Kelowna in the team's opening series. Helenius finished the playoffs with a 4-4-1 record with a 2.70 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 9 appearances.

Professional Career

Helenius was expected to play in Finland for two seasons while he fulfills his contractual and military service obligations in Finland. However, in the summer of 2007 Helenius signed a contract with the Lightning and committed to play for Seattle of the WHL. Expect Helenius to make his professional debut in the organization during the 2008-2009 season.

Scouting Report

Strengths: 

Helenius has great size and uses it to his advantage by playing his angles well in more of a standup style but he will use his size effectively in close in the butterfly as well. He has a good glove and solid athleticism and in the mental game he is lauded for his competitiveness and his willingness to battle.

Weaknesses: 

Red Line criticizes Helenius' rebound control, although it notes he is not asked to control his rebounds by his coaches, as well as his tendency to play deep in the net. They compare him to Alex Auld.

Projection: 

One scout quoted in THN's 2006 draft issue noted there is little downside to Helenius as a prospect. Unfortunately, he lost a year of development time to his shoulder surgery in 2006-2007 and will be playing catch-up developmentally in 2007-2008. Still, Helenius is considered a bona fide NHL starting goaltender in the making.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2002-2003 Ilves U16Jr. C SM-sarja1 3.00 .882|      
 2003-2004 Ilves U16Jr. C SM-sarja7 1.71 .920|Playoffs0 - -
 2004-2005 Ilves U18Jr. B SM-sarja16 1.99 .929|Playoffs5 3.05 .913
  Ilves U20Jr. A SM-liiga2 2.77 .915|Playoffs0 - -
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr3 1.50 .940|      
 2005-2006 Ilves U18Jr. B SM-sarja0 - -|Playoffs5 2.60 .916
  Ilves U20Jr. A SM-liiga26 2.68 .920|Playoffs2 3.09 .913
  IlvesLiiga0 - -|      
  Suomi U20Mestis1 2.97 .940|      
  Finland U18WJC-186 1.83 .942|      
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr14 1.83 .939|      
 2006-2007 Ilves U20Jr. A SM-liiga2 2.00 .926|      
  IlvesLiiga0 - -|      
 2007-2008 Seattle ThunderbirdsWHL41 2.42 .915|Playoffs9 2.70 .911
  Suomi U20Mestis1 4.10 .867|      
  Finland U20WJC-204 3.36 .864|      
 2008-2009 Tampa Bay LightningNHL1 0.00 1.000|      
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL25 2.72 .918|      
  Augusta LynxECHL8 4.41 .874|      
  Mississippi Sea WolvesECHL3 2.28 .944|      
  Elmira JackalsECHL0 - -|Playoffs2 6.90 .730
 2009-2010 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL12 2.75 .896|      
  SödertäljeSHL9 2.42 .923|Kvalserien SHL9 2.74 .911
 2010-2011 SödertäljeSHL18 3.03 .884|Kvalserien SHL5 2.13 .914
 2011-2012 JYPLiiga33 1.64 .936|Playoffs13 1.73 .947
  JYP-AkatemiaMestis2 1.50 .961|      
 2012-2013 Syracuse CrunchAHL32 2.57 .900|      
 2013-2014 Syracuse CrunchAHL5 3.43 .875|      
  Florida EverbladesECHL4 6.08 .797|      
 2014-2015 JokeritKHL15 2.59 .907|      

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com