Mighty Dwight, Alex Henry Sign

That’s Dwight Helminen battling Zach Parise for the puck. Helminen was a draft pick by the Oilers in 2002 and part of an NHL trade (for Petr Nedved) in March of 2004.

Helminen kicked around the AHL for awhile and seemed to be “in the mix” for a callup to the Rangers but it never came.

So last summer he signed in Finland (SM-LIIGA, played for JYP Jyvaskyla) and scored 20 goals and 45 points. The 20 goals put him in a tie for 10th in the entire league and got him enough notice to get a two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. It’ll pay him $475,000 at the NHL level or $100,000 if he is sent to the minors. Helminen has never played in an NHL game.

Also, the Montreal Canadiens signed D Alex Henry, who was also drafted by the Oilers (in 1998, 67th overall). Henry has had an NHL career (175 games) and played in the AHL this past season.

Both are no doubt depth signings, but it’s a hopeful sign for Helminen’s career and Henry is a guy whose size (6-5, 220) is always going to get him another chance somewhere in pro hockey.

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2 Responses to "Mighty Dwight, Alex Henry Sign"

  1. Eetu says:

    “Dwaipe”, as we call him in Finland*, did have a nice year at JYP. He started as the #2 center behind Jarkko Immonen (former Maple Leafs and NY Rangers prospect), but was converted to wing during the season.

    Btw, is there are reason why you spell SM-liiga with all caps?

    * The obvious nickname for someone who has the same surname with Raimo “Raipe” Helminen. His little brother Lars, who also played for JYP last year, is just as obviously “Laipe”.

  2. Lowetide says:

    eetu: I always spell it SM-LIIGA because that’s the way I’ve always seen it (all caps). Kind of like SEL or RSL. The minor leagues in Europe are often seen spelled without caps (Swe-2) but it’s caps for the majors.

    As for nicknames, hockey needs to work on nicknames no matter the country. If you don’t know the nickname of an NHL player, chances are you’ll be close by placing a “Y” at the end of their last name.

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