Helenius, Riku

European Game Day: 1-13-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 5 @ HIFK 2
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 28/30, 2.00 GAA, .933 sv%
Season totals: 20 GP, 14-6-0, 6 SO, 1.50 GAA, .936 sv%

Riku Helenius (pictured) got his third straight start and third straight win for JYP in their 5-2 victory over HIFK. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had a pair of helpers in the win for JYP. They face HPK on Saturday.

KHL (Russia):
Nikita Nesterov was again a scratch for Chelyabinsk as they fell 2-1 in the shootout to Ekaterinburg.

MHL (Russia Jr.)
Nikita Kucherov did not suit up in CSKA Jr.'s 4-3 overtime win over Chekhov Jr.

European Game Day: 1-10-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
Pelicans 2 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 28/30, 2.00 GAA, .933 sv%
Season totals: 19 GP, 13-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .937 sv%

In a rare back-to-back start situation, Riku Helenius stopped 28 to help lead JYP to a 4-2 win over Pelicans Lahti. Does this signal that Helenius has moved out of his tandem situation with co-number one Joni Myllykoski? Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had a helper in the victory. JYP faces HIFK next on Friday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. 0 @ Astana Jr. 3
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 15 GP, 13-15-28, +8, 24 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM

Nikita Kucherov took a pair of minors for slashing in CSKA Jr.'s 3-0 loss to Astana Jr. It was the first game back in the lineup for Kucherov and his teammate Nikita Gusev after the U20 WJC's. CSKA Jr. faces Chekhov Jr. next on Thursday.

Nikita Nesterov was not in the lineup today for Chelyabinsk Jr. in their 5-0 loss to Magnitogorsk Jr. Nesterov is likely to return to Chelyabinsk's KHL team when he returns to action following his U20 WJC stint.

European Game Day: 1-7-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 2 @ Tappara 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 32/33, 1.00 GAA, .970 sv%
Season totals: 18 GP, 12-6-0, 6 SO, 1.44 GA, .937 sv%

Riku Helenius stopped 32 shots in his first game back from a shoulder injury to lead JYP to a 2-1 lead over Tappara. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin scored JYP's opening goal. JYP draws Pelicans Lahti next on Tuesday.

KHL (Russia):
Mytischi 3 @ Cherepovets 0
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, DNP
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-8-0, 2 SO, 2.57 GAA, .919 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin did not dress for Cherepovets' 3-0 loss to Mytischi. Ex-NHLer Nikolai Zherdev had a helper in the match for Mytischi. Cherepovets draws Novgorod next on Monday.

Traktor Chelyabinsk's first game since the U20 WJC's is on Monday against Magnitogorsk. We'll see if Nikita Nesterov makes his KHL return in that match. CSKA's next match is against Khabarovsk on Sunday, but in all likelihood Nikita Kucherov will return to CSKA's MHL side. CSKA Jr. returns to action Monday against Astana Jr.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 1 @ MODO 3
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 12-6-18, +5, 10 PIM

Ex-NHLer Niklas Sundstrom had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead MODO to a 3-1 win over Lulea. Lulea draws Brynas on Thursday.

European Game Day: 1-5-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
KalPa 4 @ JYP 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 17 GP, 11-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .934 sv%

Riku Helenius did not dress for JYP's 4-0 defeat to KalPa. According to Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, he suffered a shoulder injury in JYP's last match which will not require surgery. JYP gets Tappara next on Tuesday.

Skelleftea 2 @ Lulea 3 (SO)
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 34 GP, 12-6-18, +6, 10 PIM

Johan Harju returned to the lineup after missing 1 game with a shoulder injury of his own and scored on 3 of 3 attempts in the shootout, including the winner, to lead Lulea to a 3-2 victory over Skelleftea. One of the little foibles of Swedish hockey is they count shootout winners as goals in their stats, so that's Harju's 12th of the season, tying him for 8th in the league in goals. So, the Swedes give their skaters too much credit and the Russians and Finns give their goaltenders too little for shootout exploits. Lulea gets MODO next on Saturday.

European Game Day: 1-3-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 2 @ TPS 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 14/14, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 17 GP, 11-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .934 sv%

Well, you don't see one of these every day. Riku Helenius started the game for JYP and stopped all 14 shots he faced before leaving the game at 4:07 of the second period. Backup Joni Myllykoski stopped all 21 shots he faced the rest of the way for the combined shutout. Myllykoski and Helenius ended up being the game's first and third stars, respectively. Officially, the SM-liiga did not award Helenius the win despite his leaving the game with a 1-0 lead. However, on Bolt Prospects, we keep track of goaltenders wins and losses by the North American rules. For those interested, he's 8-6-2 by the Finnish standard, which doesn't award wins for shootout or overtime wins, either. We'll have to see about a potential injury to Helenius. JYP plays KalPa on Thursday.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 4 @ Chekhov 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, DNP
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-8-0, 2 SO, 2.57 GAA, .919 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin did not dress in Cherepovets' 4-1 win over Chekhov. For those wondering, the KHL also scores goaltender's wins and losses like the SM-liiga, so his official KHL record is 9-8-2 and he did not receive official wins for a pair of shootout victories earlier in the season. Cherepovets draws Mytischi on Saturday.

SM-liiga Game Day: 12-29-11

SM-liiga (Finland)
Assat 2 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 24/26, 2.00 GAA, ?923 sv %
Season totals: 16 GP, 10-6-0, 6 SO, 1.51 GAA, .931 sv %

Despite Assat goals by ex-Lightning prospects Kristian Kudroc and Radek Smolenak, Riku Helenius and JYP emerged with a 4-2 win. JYP draws TPS on 1/3.

European Game Day: 12-27-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
SaiPa 2 @ JYP 3 (OT)
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 15 GP, 9-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .932 sv%

Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had 1 goal and 1 assist, including the helper on the overtime winner, to lead JYP to a 3-2 win over SaiPa. JYP draws Assat next on Thursday.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 3 @ Spartak Moscow 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 26/28, 2.00 GAA, .929 sv%
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-8-0, 2 SO, 2.57 GAA, .919 sv%

Despite a goal by ex-Flyer Stefan Rucizka with 7 seconds left in regulation, Vasily Koshechkin and Cherepovets held off Spartak Moscow 3-2. Cherepovets is now off until next Tuesday.

SM-liiga Game Day: 12-10-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 4 @ Lukko 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 16/17, 1.00 GAA, .941 sv%
Season totals: 15 GP, 9-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .932 sv%

Remember the days when Riku Helenius (pictured) allowing 1 goal in a win would have been exciting? Now, if he doesn't get a shutout, we wonder what went wrong. He's raised the bar that much this season. In fairness, he somewhat made up for it by assisting on JYP's opening goal by Jani Tuppuainen. JYP now sails off into the Channel One Cup break and won't play again until the Tuesday after Christmas against SaiPa. The Channel One Cup will run from 12/15 through 12/18.

SM-liiga Game Day: 12-9-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
Blues 3 @ JYP 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 14 GP, 8-6-0, 6 SO, 1.51 GAA, .931 sv%

Riku Helenius sat backup as JYP fell to Espoo 3-1. JYP faces Lukko on Saturday.

Prospect of the Month (November)

Bolt Prospects would now like to talk turkey about the prospects who rose to the top in the month of November. We took our time to make sure this month's Bolt Prospects Prospect of the Month had spent the proper amount of time in the oven before serving him to you. We thought about giving the award to Riku Helenius of JYP, but there was not much thanks being given in the SM-liiga by his opponents after he posted a 3-1-0 record with 2 shutouts, a 0.99 GAA, and a .949 sv%. How could we give the award to a man who clearly was in no mood to share with the rest of Finland's top league. We also might've considered Cory Conacher, who had 8 goals and 13 points in 12 games, but Conacher's still a pilgrim on his way to the land where NHL entry level contracts are found.

So, we looked high and low and then decided to honor a prospect who plays his hockey in the old Massachusetts colony, not terribly far from Plymouth Rock. Novemeber's Prospect of the Month honors belong to...

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