Riku Helenius(31) Syracuse Crunch

Tampa Bay Lightning 1st round pick in the 2006 draft (#15 overall), Finnish goaltender Riku Helenius(31) has already had quite the ride through North American pro leagues and Europe in his 5-year playing career.

In his rookie campaign he saw 7 minutes of NHL game action, 25 appearances in the AHL with then affiliate Norfolk Admirals and 11 contests with three different ECHL teams.

Entering his sophomore season he started with Norfolk but after a dozen games was reassigned to the top league in Sweden, where he stayed through the next year while still under he 3-year entry level contract.

For 2011/2012 the decision was made for him to join JYP Jyvaskyla in his home country’s SM-liiga, where he won the National Championship with the team and posted his most impressive numbers yet over the course of the regular season and in the playoffs.

The now 24-year old, 6’3″ 211 lbs. netminder was wooed back to the United States to compete for a job in the show.  But due to the NHL lockout the first season of that 2-year deal (the 2nd is a one-way contract) may be spent entirely with the Lightning‘s new minor league affiliate, Syracuse Crunch. The same team that won the 2012 Calder Cup as Norfolk Admirals.

In 8 AHL starts, he’s off to an ok start with a 5-2 record on a very good team but has a not so great 3.04 GAA and .878 SV%. He may heat up as the 2012/2013 rolls on but he’s already mixed it up in a goalie fight early in his time back.

Riku Helenius



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