Kenton Helgesen
Image: NHL

Kenton Helgesen


Fairview Alberta

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7th round (187th overall), 2012


185 lbs.

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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.

2014-15: Helgesen attended training camp with the Ducks before being returned to Calgary for an overage season with the Hitmen. With a deep group of defensemen including NHL prospects Travis Sanheim (PHI), Ben Thomas (TB) and Keegan Kanzig (CGY), Helgesen was shifted to winger. The team captain for the Hitmen, he scored 10 goals with 41 assists in 71 regular season games and was +31 with 67 penalty minutes. Calgary finished first in the Central Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals against Brandon. Helgesen scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was -4 with 8 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. 

Talent Analysis

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 player. Shifted from defense to winger in his final season of junior hockey, he is playing forward in his first professional season. Helegesen is not afraid to throw the body or drop the gloves, though he did have decent offensive numbers in his final WHL season. That part of his game is still evolving at the pro level.


Helgesen got off to a tough start in 2015-16, suffering a foot injury in October that forced him to miss 29 games and delayed his professional debut until the middle of December. Skating for the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies as a 21-year-old, he has skated in primarily a lower line role while providing hardness in the Grizzlies' lineup. A converted defenseman, Helgesen's offensive game is still developing. His size and toughness suggest he can be a serviceable forward at the NHL level. Anything more than that would be predicated on significant progress over the next few years.

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