2020-21 Team: JYP
Date of Birth: Nov. 26, 2002
Place of Birth: Jarvenpaa, Finland
Ht: 6-foot-6 Wt: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
Heading into the 2020-21 season, many scouts saw Samuel Helenius as being a potential early-round pick. While he has fallen out of favour in some people’s minds, he still has great skills to work with. Standing at 6-foot-6, he loves to be physical along the boards and he wins a lot of puck battles with his strength and size. He is good at using his active stick to read up passing plays and is good at keeping opponents to the outside of the defensive zone.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
The big knocks on Helenius are some aspects of his offensive game. He has decent hands in tight but he struggles to corral passes from his teammates and can lose the puck in his feet. His decision-making with the puck is also something that scouts say he needs to work on. One positive, though, is his ability to find open space in the offensive zone. He reads the play well and does a good job at presenting himself as an option for a scoring chance. His size also allows him to gain positioning in front.
Overall, Helenius has the makings of a solid two-way player. He is a good skater for his size and is a solid penalty killer. He does not have the highest ceiling amongst prospects this year but he does have solid attributes that will result in an NHL team calling his name at the draft come July.
Other THW Profiles
Samuel Helenius – 2021 NHL Draft Projection
Helenius was ranked a B-level prospect by NHL Central Scouting and I think that is a fair ranking for him. If a team is high on him, I could see a team taking him in the late second round or early third round but I think he will likely be selected later than that. He will definitely need a few years to develop his overall game but he has some solid tools at his disposal.
“One of the core skills that modern NHL players require is skating. Helenius is a good skater for his size. It takes some real power to get a 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame moving. While he might not be the most agile player, after a couple of strides he can breeze past players who cannot keep up with his long, loping strides. Defensively, Helenius is physical and aggressive, and also has a good stick. He breaks up plays with regularity and is usually in a good position. These abilities also help him be a good penalty killer. He is already a regular in man-down situations in Liiga, and can be a short-handed threat with his long reach and ability to read plays.” Alexander Appleyard/Smaht Scouting
“Helenius isn’t going to win any scoring titles but he has an advanced understanding of the defensive side of the puck for a player his age and the size that NHL teams covet. He keeps his head on a swivel in defensive zone coverage, taking note of potential passing lanes and eliminating them with his exceptional reach. Helenius tracks well in defensive transition and supports the play low in his own zone, routinely pulling pucks from scrums before moving them to safety but can struggle with the accuracy of his passes on occasion. He will rarely get caught on the wrong side of the puck, maintaining a responsible defensive posture in all three zones. For all of his defensive exploits, Helenius doesn’t offer much in the way of offense. He isn’t a high-end passer or puck handler and struggles to receive passes or control the puck under pressure.” – Nick Richard/DobberProspects
- Defensive play
- Ability to find open space in offensive zone
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Ability to receive passes
- Adding more weight (would make him even more impactful when he is being physical)
Helenius does not have the makings of a high-end offensive contributor at the NHL level. When he rounds out his game, I could see him being a solid bottom-six player who is relied upon defensively and can contribute at the offensive end every so often.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6.5/10, Defense – 8/10
In 2018-19, while playing for Jokerit U18 of the U18 SM-sarja, he and his teammates were crowned U18 SM-sarja champions. In 2020-21, while suiting up for Finland at the U20 World Junior Championships, he and his teammates took home the bronze medal.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.