Bolt Prospects has learned from the Lightning that 2006 first rounder Riku Helenius has been cleared to play after recovering from shoulder surgery. Helenius, who was named the Lightning's top-ranked prospect and the 41st overall ranked prospect in The Hockey News' Future Watch, will participate in an under-19 tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia starting April 10.
Helenius' junior team has completed its season, recently being knocked out of the playoffs, and the goaltender will not join the Ilves Elite team as they're currently in a playoff run.
According to Ilves news, "Goaltender Riku Helenius is not yet capable to play. Helenius apparently will not recover this season."
I talked yesterday with doctor (M.D) of Team Ilves about Riku Helenius. He said, that RikuÂ´s healing is in schedule. Riku has no-contact "order", but he is practicing at ice. I understand, what doctor said, that Riku is skating, but nothing more. They will evaluate RikuÂ´s permission to play in late February. So Riku might get in action early March. Sadly I know, that Riku will play in Ilves Jr. team rest of the season, because menÂ´s team has already two goalies. We will hope, that Tuukka Rask is heading to Boston next summer and Riku might get a chance to be No. 1 goalie in Team Ilves in next season.
According to the Lightning, 2006 first rounder Riku Helenius underwent surgery on his injured shoulder and will be out up to three months.
Helenius was expected to be the starting goaltender for Finland at this year's World Junior Championships, but he will not be recovered in time for the tournament.