2006-07: Seth Helgeson was a standout player at Faribault High School back in his home state of Minnesota. Selected in the 2nd round, 24th overall in the 2006 USHL Futures Draft by the Sioux City Musketeers.
2007-08: Joined the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL. Saw action in a total of 62 games (playoffs included) for Muskies, collecting 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) and 43 penalty minutes.
2008-09: Played his second season with Sioux City. Named to the USHL’s Western Division All-Star Team. He played for Team USA’s gold medal squad at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge. Was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL draft by the Devils.
2009-10: Helgeson had a shaky start to his NCAA Career, but appeared in 31 games with Minnesota, only adding one assist, with his 24 PIM.
2010-11: Helgeson appeared in all 36 games for Minnesota as a sophomore and was frequently paired with Blues’ prospect Cade Fairchild. Despite the Gophers’ struggles (an uncharacteristic fifth-place finish and first-round lost to Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA playoffs), Helgeson established himself as a consistent, shut-down defender at the college level. Helgeson chipped in offensively for the Gophers, scoring 1 goal with 6 assists and was +7, but it was his toughness (including a team-leading 66 PMs) and positional play that was his strong suit.
2011-12 Helgeson skated in 42 games for Minnesota as a junior; providing a veteran presence on a young defense corps that was a key to the Golden Gophers’ success. Partnered with sophomore Justin Holl (CHI) much of the year, he was plus-12 with 5 goals and 9 assists and had a team-leading 70 penalty minutes. The Gophers won the WCHA regular season title and after losing to North Dakota in the WCHA semifinals defeated the Fighting Sioux in the NCAA West Regional final the following week to reach the Frozen Four.
2012-13: Helgeson signed a two-year entry-level deal with New Jersey in April and made his pro hockey debut — skating in four AHL games with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany following his senior season at Minnesota. He had no points and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes with Albany, which missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division. Helgeson’s final season with the Gophers was a successful one as Minnesota won its second straight WCHA regular season title. The lone senior in the Minnesota defensemen corps, Helgeson had 5 assists and was -5 with 62 penalty minutes in 40 games. The season came to a disappointing end as the Gophers lost to Colorado College, 2-0, in a WCHA semifinal game and lost in overtime to eventual national champion Yale in an NCAA West Regional semifinal.
Helgeson plays a simple and safe game, using his imposing size to his advantage. He excels at rubbing opponents out along the boards and behind the net. Not only does he use his size physically, but his long reach also aids him with his defending off the rush, as well in his own end. He is usually in good position and does a good job using his stick to take away passing lanes. A prototypical stay-at-home defenseman, Helgeson’s skating stride and puck skills have improved tremendously in his three years at the University of Minnesota. He’ll never put up a lot of points, but he makes strong, crisp outlet passes and does a good job of getting the puck through traffic and towards the net.
Helgeson jumped up the Devils depth chart last season and could be on the short list to receive a call-up when injuries occur in New Jersey. Despite the competitive depth of blueliners in the system, Helgeson road to the NHL is looking very good.