2009-10: Kenton Helgesen was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the sixth round (132nd overall) of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Helgesen played for the Grande Prairie Storm Midget AAA team in Alberta. In 35 games he had 9 assists with 54 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Helgesen returned to Grande Prairie after attending the Hitmen’s WHL training camp and played for the Storm in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 42 games with the Storm he scored 1 goal with 5 assists and had 39 penalty minutes. The Storm reached the playoffs after finishing fourth in the North Division. Helgesen skated in two of the five playoff games with no points or penalties.
2011-12: Helgesen skated in 58 games for Calgary in his first WHL season. He scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was plus-7 with 63 penalty minutes for the Hitmen. Calgary finished second to WHL champion Edmonton in the Central Division but fell to Brandon in a first round playoff series. In the five game series Helgesen was minus-three with 2 penalty minutes. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 64th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Helgesen skated in 70 games for Calgary in his second WHL season — finishing second only to Jaynen Rissling with 116 penalty minutes (six fewer than Rissling). He had 20 assists and was +22 for the Hitmen. Calgary finished second in the Central Division and lost to first-place Edmonton in the Eastern Conference finals. Helgesen played in three playoff games, suffering a broken hand while blocking a shot in the first round series with Swift Current, and was +1 with 1 assist.
2013-14: Helgesen skated in 71 of 72 games for the Calgary Hitmen in his third WHL season. The leading scorer amongst the club’s defensemen, he scored 10 goals and was third amongst all skaters with 41 assists; finishing +31 with 67 penalty minutes. The Hitmen finished tied with Edmonton with 103 points but were first in the Central Division based on tie-breakers. Helgesen scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in six playoff games as Calgary was upset by Kootenay in the first round. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Ducks in April 2014.
Helgesen was perceived as a potential shutdown defenseman with a punishing physical edge to his game when he was first selected by Anaheim late in the 2012 NHL Draft following his first junior season. Since that time he has developed into more of an offensive, two-way defenseman. While he is not afraid to throw the body or drop the gloves, his game has transitioned from that of a bruising heavyweight to a player capable of moving the puck, setting up teammates and contributing to the rush. Whether he can have the same success at the pro level that he has had against smaller, less talented players in junior hockey will be a key issue.
Helgesen attended training camp with the Ducks before being returned to Calgary for an overage season in the WHL in 2014-15. The Hitmen are again one of the league's better teams and the presence of Flyers' prospect Travis Sanheim on the blue line has led the Hitmen to move Helgesen to the forward spot; where he is now playing exclusively as a winger. As with many late round projection picks, Helgesen has plenty of areas to round out in his game. Long-term his progress suggests he can one day be a serviceable forward at the NHL level. At the same time it is equally likely that he proves capable of putting up consistent points at the minor pro level or in Europe but is not quite skilled enough for the NHL game.